April Fool’s Day has come and gone for another year, so what better time to look back at the best April Fool’s pranks from the last few years in the digital marketing industry.
Here are 20 of the best April Fool’s jokes:
1. Google Gorilla by The Hoth
The Hoth got in on April Fool’s Day by breaking the news on the Google ‘Gorilla’ which was wreaking havoc on the SEO industry.
To keep their stakeholders happy, Google announced it would add a further 7 ad slots to the first page of search results, meaning there were zero organic listings. To counter this new algorithm, companies announced “The Google Gorilla Layout Bazooka Sniper Volcano”, a 13 page PDF that claimed to beat the algorithm, which could be purchased for $7.
Google has a long tradition of undertaking April Fool’s Day jokes. One of their older jokes was PigeonRank. Google founders discovered that “low cost pigeon clusters (PCs) could be used to compute the relative value of web pages faster than human editors or machine-based algorithms.” The domestic pigeon has superior trainability, and a unique capacity to recognise objects, and when in a dense cluster, can process search queries at fast speeds. The page also includes data into their finding and a list of FAQS about PigeonRank.
3. Gmail Paper
Another archived Google April Fool’s prank was Gmail Paper. We all know everyone loves emails, but sometimes people want physical copies as well right? With Gmail Paper, you can request a physical copy of any message, which will be sent to you in the mail, which should arrive within 2-4 business days. Once arrived, the Gmail Paper is yours forever, to do with it as you please.
4. Pawculus Rift
In 2016, Cramer announced the Pawculus Rift – the only virtual reality experience for dogs. Their studies found dogs were an important untapped market within the virtual gaming market. Now your dog can enjoy VR too!
Google knows that selfies are a huge craze. Back in 2015 Google Chrome announced the #ChromeSelfie, which lets you show your friends exactly how you feel while browsing online. Not only can you share websites with your friends and family, but you can also send a selfie of your reaction to the web page as well. Who needs words when you can send a selfie instead?
6. Google Nose
2013 saw Google introduce the Google Nose. The company announced they had developed a whole new dimension to their search engine, and users could now search for smells. Google claimed their database had 15 million smells, just waiting for people to search for them.
You’ve heard of Vimeo, but what about Vimeow? In 2013, Vimeo announced the home for your cat videos – Vimeow. They even announced that your mouse is now an actual mouse, which you could chase around your computer screen or let it live another day. They even announced plans for Tummyrub, a feature that allowed you to show your appreciation for any cat video, and Vimeo Purrks, a virtual e-program that gave you all the perks of being an actual cat owner.
8. Google Cardboard Plastic
We have Google Cardboard to help us live out our VR dreams. Google Cardboard Plastic combines everything you love about VR headsets with everything you love about reality. It is “beyond virtual reality. Actual reality.” Technology that’s as powerful as you are, but not any more powerful. You can truly experience reality with Google Cardboard Plastic.
9. Hubspot #DeskFree
In 2015, Hubspot announced the #DeskFree Revolution. To build on a collaborative environment and help employees do their best work, Hubspot announced the desk-free office. They claimed it doubled workplace collaboration, and sliced their furniture budget by 98%. With savings like that, why wouldn’t you want to go #DeskFree?
10. Moz Snapchat Support
Snapchat was just becoming a big thing back in 2015. So that’s why Moz figured it would be the perfect platform for their support. If you need answers to a question, all you had to do is hold your phone up to the screen and send a snap of the issue. You could be at ease about security, knowing your snaps will disappear soon after you receive them. Getting support has never been easier!
11. Adobe Emoji-Based Market Research
We all love using emojis, so why can’t they be used for market research? That’s exactly what Adobe Systems announced in 2015. Using one of the most valuable forms of online communication allowed Adobe to improve brand communications and marketing. Initial testing started with high school friends, and soon expanded to college friends, and after two weeks spread to corporate America. However, they did concede it would be unlikely to be deployed across most marketing departments.
12. Comic Sans For Everyone
Google’s Webmaster Team undertook extensive research to find which font always outperformed the rest, with the obvious winner being Comic Sans. In 2014, it was announced Comic Sans would be the default font used across all Google products. Their research even showed there was a better user experience with the font, and people perceived web pages as more friendly.
13. Google Autocompleter
Always dreamed of working at Google? In 2011, your dreams could have come true, and you could have become a Google Autocompleter. Google uploaded their recruitment video looking for people who “feel like you know what your friends and family are thinking and can finish their thoughts before they can?” Unfortunately, this was just an April Fool’s joke, and you’re going to have to keep waiting for that Google job.
In 2015, the former head of the web spam team at Google Matt Cutts announced “seo.ninja”. This promised that you would no longer have to think about things like redirects. How good does it sound to have to never think about SEO things like H1 headers, or meta descriptions? Best of all, this program was completely free for individuals, students, self-hosted installs and companies with less than 100 employees. It could even be used on mobile browsers. Going by the comments, more than one person fell for this April Fool’s joke.
15. Bing SEO tag
In 2013, Bing took aim at the SEO community with the announcement of its new “SEO tag”. This was a piece of code that allowed webmasters to tell Bing where their pages should rank. The second line of code even let you tell Bing to rank your page one place higher than your competition.
Bing even took a not so subtle dig at Google, announcing the company had “seen the positive feedback generated by this desire to partner with websites, instead of keeping them in the dark about important data by blocking it or not sharing it.”
- Google Gnome
It’s 2017, shouldn’t we be able to have a smart yard? Fortunately, Google has now announced the Google Gnome. It’s like having a tiny meteorologist at your beck and call. You can ask it whatever questions about the weather you want. It can even provide entertainment for your outdoor pets – it can play fetch, as well as play music and play hide and seek. It’s even programmed to take control of your backyard tools, so it can do your mowing for you. Wouldn’t that be useful!
This year YouTube announced #SnoopaVision. This is a fully immersive experience that lets you watch any video on YouTube in 306 degrees, with Snoop Dogg. They even have a “best of” SnoopaVision for your viewing pleasure.
18. Speaker EZ-AR
Have a fear of public speaking? Cramer have come up with the solution! In 2016 Cramer announced Speak EZ-AR, the first ever augmented reality application to help those challenged by public speaking to overcome their fear. The AR glasses lets you change the audience into whomever or whatever makes you comfortable – audience in their underwear, kittens, whatever!
19. Hubspot Pet Program
To increase employee satisfaction, in 2016 Hubspot launched the #PETprogram – which stands for Productive Employee Things. This program allows Hubspot employees around the globe bring their pets to work. The most popular pets included goats, sheep, chickens, kangaroos, anacondas, octopus, alpacas, elephants and pigs.
20. Guardian ‘augmented reality’ specs
Want to see the world through the Guardian’s eyes all the time? In 2013, the Guardian announced ‘augmented reality’ specs. These spectacles, also known as the Guardian Goggles, give the wearer a real-time stream of specially curated opinions from the Guardian. There was even an option built-in anti-bigotry feature, which prevented wearers from seeing columns by certain writers, and blocks viewers attempts to look at them. Want a fully immersive Guardian experience? You’ve got it.
Know any other great April Fool’s Day jokes? Let us know in the comments.