13 clever jokes from Google that probably went right over your head

Google frequently makes us giggle with the geeky ways it handles things.

Like the time it rewarded the man who managed to buy the “Google.com” domain for one minute: Google gave researcher Sanmay Ved US$6,006.13 (AUD$7,933.07), choosing that specific amount because it spells out Google, numerically — “squint a little and you’ll see it!” the company said.

This kind of quirky antic has become almost par for the course for the search giant, which has long been down for a little nerdy fun.

“Googleyness” is all about intellectual creativity, after all.

Here are some of our other favourite times that Google did or responded to something in a particularly silly way.

Jillian D’Onfro contributed to an earlier version of this story.

It all started with the IPO. Google used a funny string of numbers in its initial S-1 filing for how much it hoped to raise.


The first 10 digits of the mathematical constant 'e' are 2,718,281,828.

Then, a year later, Google collected a bit more than AUD$5.28 billion by selling 14,159,265 million of its shares.

The company sometimes responds to press questions with memes. It sent The Verge this one when it revealed that a weird skull showing up in people's Gmail accounts was caused by a bug in its own in-house debugger.


Source: The Verge

Google once even got a little risqué with this response.

And once it addressed an issue where Google Maps was showing Sauron's tower from 'The Lord of the Rings' as appearing in Australia with a comment ... in Elvish.


'If your Elvish is a bit rusty, here is a rough translation,' the representative said. 'We encourage users to contribute their local knowledge and updates using Google Map Maker, even the whims of Sauron will not compromise our quest to provide useful and accurate maps.'

Google has recruited new developers using super-cryptic challenges that people can only access through a secret website.


And when Business Insider reached out to Google about this recruiting technique, we received the following response:

' import string



print(m) '

The message? 'GLHF,' which stands for 'Good luck, have fun!'

A few months after Google became Alphabet in 2015, it bought the entire alphabet as a domain name, with the URL abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com.

'We realised we missed a few letters in abc.xyz, so we're just being thorough,' a representative told Re/code.

Not about numbers, but pretty funny: In its official code of conduct, Google declares itself a 'dog company'...

Amy Lombard/VSCO

'Google's affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture,' reads the company's code of conduct on its investor-relations site. 'We like cats, but we're a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our offices would be fairly stressed out.'

... a fact that the company made sure to reference again in 2015 after the press noted that new parent company Alphabet didn't include Google's famous 'don't be evil' line in its new code of conduct.

Tim Graham/Getty Images

After The Wall Street Journal's Alistair Barr caught the change, the company sent him a cheeky response.

'Individual Alphabet companies may of course have their own codes to ensure they continue to promote compliance and great values,' a Google spokesman said. 'But if they start bringing cats to work, there's gonna be trouble with a capital T.'

When a report surfaced from WWD earlier in 2017 that Google could potentially buy Condé Nast, Google's communications team took the opportunity to write a clever response.


While some people found Google's response pretty funny, WWD made a wisecrack of their own, responding: 'Maybe they Googled how to write a witty response'

The search giant showed off its numerical whimsy, when it bid US$1,902,160,540 (AUD$2,512,429,888.12) and US$2,614,972,128 (AUD$3,453,932,511.39) for some wireless patents.

Getty Images

In case those numbers don't instantly ring a bell: They're Brun's constant and the Meissel-Mertens constant, respectively.

Google didn't end up winning the patents, but it definitely mystified other bidders.

In another auction, Google spent AUD$25 million to buy the entire '.app' domain. But the clever part came when we followed up with the company about it.

Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

'We've been excited and curious about the potential for new top-level domains (TLDs) for .soy long,' a Google representative told Business Insider in a pun-riddled email. 'We are very .app-y with .how, at a .minna-mum, they have the potential to .foo-ward internet innovation.'

In the same vein, Alphabet also bought back a bunch of stock for US$5,099,019,513.59 (AUD$6,734,935,751.56).


That's the square root of 26, the number of letters in the alphabet, times a billion.

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