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Google's Hoaxes
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Google's Hoaxes

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

Google has often adopted a light-veined approach in a variety of circumstances. Some of the following, while not being hoaxes, have gathered media and public attention.

  • Google changes its logos, called Google Doodles, to mark several occasions. See Google's Holiday Logos
  • Google Search is available in invented languages such as Klingon. Links to Google in the following mock languages appear on the Language Tools page.
    • Klingon - Google - tlhIngan Hol
    • Bork Bork Bork - Google - Bork, Bork, Bork!
    • Leet - Google - H4x0r
    • Elmer Fudd - Google - Ewmew Fudd
    • Pig Latin - Google - Igpay Atinlay
  • Google's target to raise money from its IPO was US$2,718,281,828. This has a touch of mathematical humor as e = 2.718281828... During the IPO, 14,142,135 shares (another mathematical reference as √2 is 1.4142135...) were floated by Google. On August 18, 2005 (a year after the initial public offering), Google announced that it would sell 14,159,265 (pi is 3.14159265...) more shares of its stock to raise money. More information about Google's IPO is available in the Google article.

However the most popular instances of Google Humor are the April Fool Jokes. Google has had a tradition of perpetrating April Fools Day hoaxes.


2000: Google MentalPlex

Google announced a new "MentalPlex" search technology that supposedly read the user's mind to determine what the user wanted to search for, thus eliminating the step of actually typing in the search query. In the FAQ, Google co-founder Larry Page said that "typing in queries is so 1999." In reality, clicking on the given link to activate the "MentalPlex" search leads to a page displays a phony error followed by Google search results for "April Fool's".

'Errors' displayed by Google MentalPlex:

  • Error 01: Brainwaves received in analog. Please re-think in digital.
  • Error 005: Searching on this topic is prohibited under international law.
  • Error 144: That information was lost with the Martian Lander. Please try again.
  • Error 008: Interference detected. Remove aluminum foil and remote control devices.
  • Error 8P: Unclear on whether your search is about money or monkeys. Please try again.
  • Error: Insufficient conviction. Please clap hands 3 times, while chanting "I believe" and try again.
  • Error CKR8: That information is protected under the National Security Act.
  • Error 666: Multiple transmitters detected. Silence voices in your head and try again.
  • Error 006: Query is unclear. Try again after removing hat, glasses and shoes.
  • Error 001: Weak or no signal detected. Upgrade transmitter and retry.
  • Error: MentalPlex(tm) has determined that this is not your final answer. Please try again.
  • Google MentalPlex
  • Google MentalPlex FAQ

2002: Pigeon Rank

Google reveals the technology behind its PageRank System - PigeonRank. Google touts the benefits of this cost-effective and efficient means of ranking pages, and reassures readers that there is no animal cruelty involved in the process. The article makes many humorous references and puns based on computer terminology and how Google PageRank really works.

2004: Google Lunar/Copernicus Center

Fictitious job opportunities for a research center on the moon. Lunar/X is the name of a new operating system they claimed to have created for working on there.

2005: Google Gulp

Google Gulp, a fictitious drink, was announced by Google in 2005. According to the company, this beverage would optimize one's use of the Google search engine by increasing the drinker's intelligence. It was claimed this boost was achieved through real-time analysis of the user's DNA and carefully tailored adjustments to neurotransmitters in the brain (a patented technology termed Auto-Drink). The drink was said to come in "4 great flavors": Glutamate Grape, Sugar-Free Radical (free radicals), Beta Carroty (beta carotene), and Sero-Tonic Water (serotonin). There was even a fake auction on eBay for a short period of time ostensibly selling Google Gulps.

Google Gulp

A parody

This hoax was likely intended as a parody of Google's invite-only email service called Gmail. Although ostensibly free, the company claimed the beverage could only be obtained by returning the cap of a Google Gulp bottle to a local grocery store: a catch-22. In the Google Gulp FAQ , Google replies to the observation "I mean, isn't this whole invite-only thing kind of bogus?" by saying "Dude, it's like you've never even heard of viral marketing."

Additionally, Google humorously addressed the controversy surrounding Gmail's privacy policy. Google Gulp was said to occasionally send data about one's use of the product via a wireless transmitter in the base of the Google Gulp bottle, whencefrom it would be received at the "GulpPlex":
...a heavily guarded, massively parallel server farm whose location is known only to Eric Schmidt, who carries its GPS coordinates on a 64-bit-encrypted smart card locked in a stainless-steel briefcase handcuffed to his right wrist.

Reflecting consumer mistrust of long-winded privacy policies, Google further noted:
No personally identifiable information of any kind... [will ever be] transferred in any way to any untrustworthy third party, ever, we swear.

Google also alluded to the continuing beta-test status of Gmail, citing concerns over potential competition from Microsoft when questioned about a final release.

Active ingredients

One of the purported active ingredients in Google Gulp was a monoamine oxidase inhibitor or MAOI, a type of antidepressant. Sero-Tonic Water additionally contained selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); the combination of SSRIs and MAOIs often leads quickly to a potentially fatal condition associated with seizure and coma.

2005: Google Moon

On July 20, 2005, Google created a version of Google Maps that included a small segment of the surface of the moon. It was based entirely on NASA images and included only a very limited region. Panning caused the map to tile. Zooming in too much showed a picture of swiss cheese. The map also gave the locations of all moon landings. Google created the page on the 36th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon. The hoax is connected to the original Google Copernicus hoax, which claimed Google was developing, and later had, a moon base. Google Moon claims that in 2069, Google Local will support all lunar businesses and addresses.


Google has chosen April Fools Day to announce their actual products. This marketing strategy is used to make people think that the product is a hoax, spread the word around and then to surprise them when they realize that it is actually real. On April Fools Day 2004, Google announced the launch of Gmail, making some believe it was a hoax. Further, in 2005 the increase of storage space announced was also thought to be false. Also in 2005 Google also released Google Ride Finder which was thought to be fake, but later turned out to be real.

External links

Google pages:

Google Guide made by MultiMedia | Free content and software

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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