Google’s April Fools’ Day 2013 Joke-A-Thon: YouTube Shutdown, Google Nose & More

april-fools-day-shutterstockApril Fool’s Day is pretty much like a national … err, international holiday for everyone that works for Google.

It seems that nobody else on the Web takes the tradition of pranks and jokes as seriously as Google does — just see our coverage from the last few April Fool’s Days for proof:

It may still be March 31st for me, and maybe for many of you reading this, but it’s already April 1st in Australia, and the Google jokes are well underway. Here’s a look at what we’ve found so far (and we’ll be updating this article through the day with more):

Google SCHMICK

First out of the block is the Google Australia blog, which has announced Google SCHMICK — Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit. It’s a fake addition to Google’s Street View service that purports to let users decorate their houses with any of “hundreds of themes or features.” If your house is a little drab, you could spice it up like this:

BEFORE

Before

AFTER

After-+with+flag

Unlike some Google April 1st gags, Google SCHMICK isn’t actually real. If you click the link in Google Australia’s blog post, you get “Rick-rolled” by an April 1st page.

Google Maps Treasure Hunt Mode

Some of Google’s April Fool’s jokes are real, like the Google Maps Treasure Hunt mode that you can use at maps.google.com/maps?t=8.

google-maps-treasure-hunt

The Google Maps team is based in Australia, so it makes sense that this one would be one of the first gags of the day for Google to roll out.

Update: Treasure Mode is a bit more involved than I’ve described above. It’s actually part of a game in which Google is asking users to help find a treasure buried by William “Captain” Kidd.

YouTube Shutting Down On April 1st

So far, this is the best Google gag I’ve seen this year. Much better than what’s above. YouTube has jokingly announced that the site is shutting down tomorrow (April 1st) and that the eight-year competition to find the best video is over.

The video explaining the shut down and competition is pretty much brilliant — it features several YouTube stars from over the years, including Antoine Dodson, David Devore Jr. — the dazed post-dental appointment boy, Judson Laipply of “Evolution of Dance” fame and others. Have a look:

Judging is said to take 10 years, and YouTube will relaunch in 2023 when a winner is announced. There’s even a video stream where all nominees will be announced starting tomorrow (and continuing for two years).

Now THAT is how you do an April Fools’ Day joke.

Google Nose

Here’s another good one: Google Nose, which Google bills as “the new scentsation in search.” (Punny. Very punny.) It’s exactly what it sounds like … a joke about smell-based search. And Google’s playing this one to the hilt: Do a search on Google.com now and one of the search verticals at the top is “Nose (beta).” Plus, in certain Knowledge Graph results, the “People also searched” heading now says “People also sniffed.”

google-nose

Here’s the video explaining Google Nose search:

Google+ Photos +Emotion

The Google+ team got involved with the announcement of “Your photos +Emotion,” a tool in the Google+ photo panel that lets you add emoticons to your uploaded images. Why? ” Because “when it comes to expressing yourself, nothing beats the richness and elegance of a few properly placed colons, parentheses, letters and hyphens.”

emotion_screenshot

There actually is an emoticon tool in the photo panel on my photos, but clicking on it doesn’t actually do anything. At least, not for me. (And I’m perfectly fine with that.)

Google Analytics: International Space Station Traffic

Thanks to reader Pavel Khaykin of Banarsi Designs for letting us know there’s an April Fool’s joke today in the Real-Time section of Google Analytics. If you click on the Locations tab, Google is showing that you currently have 41 visits coming in from the International Space Station.

google-analytics-iss

Google Play Developer Console: Add New “Awesome” Application

If you happen to have a Google Play Developer account, you’ll see a new option on the dashboard. Right next to the “Add new application” button is “Add new awesome application.”

gplay

If you click that button, Google promises to help you build a new app based on “advanced machine learning algorithms” that have “discovered … the common patterns and characteristics of successful applications.”

gplay-2

And then, there’s one more step to get to a funny form where you can choose where the app should be featured (options include the Official Google Blog, TechCrunch and Wired, among others), as well as which Google employees should develop the app — Larry and Sergey are both an option.

gplay3

When you submit the form, Google’s landing page tells you that its programmers are already hard at work on your app — the numbers you see below (4372 and 68) ramp up rapidly as you watch the page. The link at the bottom sends you to Wikipedia’s page about April Fool’s Day.

gplay4

Gmail Blue

For a product that actually was launched on April 1st (2004), you’d think Gmail would come up with something a little more involved than turning its interface blue.

Google Fiber Poles

The Google Fiber crew in Kansas City is even in on the jokes. And this is one of those gags that you know people wish was actually real. It’s called Google Fiber Poles — small kiosk-type boxes attached to utility poles where Google Fiber customers can access the same Internet speeds they get at home.

Google Apps: Levity Algorithm

The Google Apps team has a joke based on what it calls the Levity Algorithm. The gag here is that clicking a setting turns boring, work-related calendar tasks into more exciting and fun To Dos, or makes emails and presentations funnier.

The main speaker in that video, listed as product manager “Steve Daley,” is actually actor Steven Yeun, one of the stars of AMC’s hit series, The Walking Dead, which just had its Season Three finale on Sunday night.

Google Analytics Export Options

Okay, it’s Monday – April Fools’ Day is finally here and the gags are continuing. Google Analytics has another one with today’s “news” that there are several new export and send-to options for your reports, like CD-Rom, papyrus and Carrier pigeon.

new-export-options

Google Japan Input Device

I have no idea what exactly is being said here, but Google Japan appears to have announced some kind of new input device. Matt Cutts tweeted about it, so there you go.

Google Wallet Mobile ATM

The Google Commerce folks have announced the “Google Wallet Mobile ATM,” a device that attaches (not really) to your smartphone and dispenses cash on the spot — including “rare two- and fifty-dollar bills.”

google-wallet-atm-joke

Google Trends: Cold Searches

Google Trends has decided to not only show “hot” searches, but for April Fools’ Day is also showing Cold search trends. This is stuff that nobody’s searching for, like “Y2K,” “Macarena step-by-step” and “prom scrunchies.” Hehe. Pretty good.

google-cold-searches

We’ll continue to update this roundup as the day goes along. Feel free to check back.

(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Features: General | Google: Analytics | Google: Docs & Spreadsheets | Google: Gmail | Google: Internet Access | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Marketing | Google: Street View | Google: Trends | Google: Wallet | Google: YouTube & Video | Search & Society: April Fool's | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Guest

    Google Nose (www.google.com/nose) is another one!

  • Guest

    I was searching on google, and i find that post. Really really great one.

  • Guest
  • abdelhalim bel adel

    I wa searching on google about SEOcand i found this blog. Really really great one, keep on writing…
    http://haliiim.com

  • Shannon Sofield

    Check this one out I just found while pouring over Google Analytics in Real-Time: http://carzz.co/designbook/407/google-real-time-analytics-april-fool-s-joke/

  • http://www.expertvillagemedia.com/ Amit
  • shan awan
  • erfanullah

    Google Nose really fooled me :p

  • http://www.facebook.com/manningjc Jonathan Manning

    I love a good April Fool this is a link on Google Nose:

    http://geekalphabet.com/2013/04/01/sniffing-out-google-nose-april-fool/

  • RohanKandwal

    google nose fooled me too

  • Chris Hatchet

    Google never fails when April comes around. Had me going for a minute. P.S. my screen protector is scentless, and now my girlfriend thinks I’m crazy!!

    http://www.powerglobaldesigns.com/what-is-google-nose-beta

  • Michael Armogan
  • Matt McGee

    Thanks Michael, that makes sense. I don’t think I tested it on any photos with faces.

  • taylorlauder

    There’s a bunch of cool pranks made by gaming sites compiled by N4G community. Source: http://n4g.com/news/clickout/1222948

  • http://www.facebook.com/onlineservices2013 Adnan Ali

    Apart from all Jokes I think Google Make`s the Best one……!!!!

  • AHMED ADNAN

    Google Nose the Best Joke Ever…….!!!

  • http://twitter.com/jwdlatif Jawad Latif

    41 visitors from International Space Station was good :)

  • the sniga

    I think there was a cool fool…

  • Vinny

    When is Google announcing that Enhanced Campaigns was all just April Fools joke???

  • http://twitter.com/AzeveAze Mateus Fernandes Aze

    I am a member myself so I can assure you it is not a scam. By the way, they have a 4year anniversy special for Sep 2012 where the first month fee is about $22 plus a few cents. thnlnk.com/wow93/0000012087

  • http://www.facebook.com/raymond.oenbrink Raymond J Oenbrink

    I fell for google nose….. LoL

  • http://twitter.com/cnt cnt

    haha google nose got me too.. many others around the web.. my fav is unpakt – now moving to the moon! http://www.unpakt.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.mohler.3 Jeff Mohler

    I thought G’s Apr.1 joke was yesterday when they didnt have an Easter theme but a communist dictator instead.

  • robthespy

    Enough with the jokes and doodles- fix the real products!! ;)

  • dorabowers

    until I saw the paycheck which had said $7928, I be certain that…my… friends brother was like they say truly earning money parttime from there labtop.. there uncles cousin has been doing this 4 only about 9 months and at present took care of the mortgage on their apartment and purchased a great Audi Quattro. go to, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.rho Joe Rho

    i tried google nose and went to the need help button. it says “its april fools day”

  • http://www.facebook.com/nikolastoddmaxwell Todd Maxwell

    Um, Cesar Chavez was a labor leader, not a communist dictator. Are you thinking of Hugo Chavez, perhaps? The fact that you don’t know the difference between them highlights why it was important for Google to put Cesar Chavez up yesterday.

  • Unbound Marketing

    Someone who dares to have a political view? Must be a communist.

  • treepodia

    It smelt too good to be true.

  • treepodia

    Maybe it wasn’t clear.

  • Kayla Velasco

    *sigh* I feel seriously stupid right now… Not bad Google, not bad at all ;p

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