Every year on April 1st, we see some pretty clever April Fools jokes played by search engines. One of my all time favorites is when Google revealed a very secret part of their algorithm by disclosing what Pigeon Rank is and how it works. Here is a summary of some of the better jokes I came across today. Enjoy!

  • Google Announces Project Virgle – Establish Human Colony on Mars
    Posted by Sir Richard Branson himself on the official Google blog, Richard announces a joint venture between the Virgin Group and Google to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. He says that in the years to come, they will be sending up a series of spaceships carrying supplies and tools needed to build the new colony as well as hundreds of Mars colonists, or Virgle Pioneers, himself included. More details on this joke…. I mean project can be found here.
  • Google Book Search Allows You To Smell Scratch-and-Sniff Books Through Your Monitor
    Using special equipment and tricky JavaScript, Google is now able to capture some of the smells from “scratch-and-smell” books during the scanning process and then embed them in your web browser when you preview these titles in Google Book Search. They then provide a few examples including The Cheese Companion, Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide, The Science of Chocolate and Gorillas in the Mist.
  • Google Australia’s gDay™ is MATE™ Technology – Search Content before It Is Created
    Google Australia has introduced a new feature, enabling you to search content on the internet before it is created. How does it work? Google spiders crawl publicly available web information and their index of historic, cached web content. Using a mashup of numerous factors such as recurrence plots, fuzzy measure analysis, online betting odds and the weather forecast from the iGoogle weather gadget, they can create a sophisticated model of what the internet will look like 24 hours from now.

Here are some other April Fools jokes that were not the product of search engines themselves but are somehow related to the search industry.


  • Microsoft’s $1 Million Guarantee Program To Win Searchers
    Microsoft executives, worried that the plan to acquire Yahoo for an estimated $40 billion might not happen, have hatched an alternative plan that might bring about success over Google at a much cheaper cost. To win in search, Microsoft may pay people not to use Google. And pay a premium, up to $1 million per year, over the next three years, to anyone within the United States. Called the “$1 Million Guarantee Program,” the initiative will reward anyone within the United States that agrees to have web surfing monitoring software hooked to their computer. To allay privacy concerns, the software will watch for only one thing — use of Google and other non-Microsoft search engines.
  • Google To Acquire The U.S. Government
    From InfoWorld, Google’s acquisitive streak blazed a little brighter last weekend when it announced that it will be taking over the U.S. government. Both sides remained mum on the exact value of the deal, but unnamed sources put it at approximately $4 billion in Google stock. “It was either this or pass along a huge deficit to the next generation,” a visibly relieved President George W. Bush said in the press conference. “America, this decision benefits all citizens.”
  • Google’s Index Now on Your Wrist with GWatch Launch
    Google is releasing a USB Search Watch which will bring Google’s popular search engine technology to a wristwatch. Users will be able to use a modified Google API to view search results on your wrist. At launch, the “GWatch” will be limited to local search results–your zip, city, or state. Google has plans to turn the GWatch into a mobile Chumby-like device–adding widgets, RSS feeds, and YouTube videos in the future. By plugging the watch into your computer and downloading the compressed local index, you’ll be able to search more than 100 million geo-targeted web pages.
  • Google To Consolidate SEO Industry
    Tom Tsinas writes, “A very good friend of mine, and senior executive with Google, suggested to me today that the search giant is imminently poised to begin consolidating the search engine optimization industry. Google plans to make SEO services available to web site owners and marketers directly, to better enable them to increase their advertising return on investment and make their web sites more effective, for free.” A few of my friends in the SEM industry will be involved with this new division of Google including Shana Albert – Director of Culture Activities and Social Spamming, Michael Dorausch – Director – In House Chiropractic Services and Local Maps Documentation Fragmentation Specialist, Matt McGee – Director – Google Radio “All U2, All The Time” and Jeff Quipp – Director of Hockey Operations and Senior Social Media Hacker.

David Wallace

David Wallace

David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of SearchRank, is a recognized expert in the industry of search and social media marketing. Since 1997, David has been involved in developing successful search engine and social media marketing campaigns for large and small businesses.

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