Continuing its tradition of making the world smile with faux products and service hoaxes, Google has a barrage of novelty in store for April Fools 2011. From special language choices, new ways of gesticulating to Gmail and old-time viral videos from 1911, Google has something to tickle your funny bone this year.
New Google Search Language Options
For those loyal to Google search but wish it had more language choices, you're in luck. In addition to the traditional Romance, Asian and African languages, you now have your choice of two more: Elmer Fudd and "Bork, Bork, Bork!" a phrase made popular by the Muppets' very own Swedish Chef.
To activate the language, log into your Google account, click Settings in the toolbar at the top of the page and select Search Settings. The options to select the language of the Google interface are the top choice.
Yes, these were out previously.
Google Mobile Kittens
Looking for Kittens? Grab your favorite mobile browser and search for kittens. Using what must be based on last year's Animal Translator Prank, Google mobile will return a result showing what kittens in your location are currently saying.
If you're a Gmail user, you'll love Gmail Motion, a unique new way of typing email without using a keyboard or a mouse.
Gmail Motion's patented spatial tracking technology allows you to use your Webcam and simple hand gestures and body movements to perform Gmail tasks and completely compose a message. For example, to reply to a message, you can simply point over your shoulder with your thumb. You can reply all by using both thumbs. To send, lick two fingers as if they were a stamp, then press them down in front of you.
Gmail product manager Paul McDonald and his team have been working with experts in motion technology and semiotics to develop gestures that will replace typing on a keyboard entirely.
Want to know more? Download the Gmail actions printable guide or watch the Gmail Motion Product Video:
Need a Job? Can You Type Really Fast?
If you're in the market for a new job and have always wanted to be a Googler, there's a new opening in Mountain View. The requirements are simple: you need to be able to search fast, type faster and want to help others. Google needs people to type back autocomplete phrases. If you can type 32,000 words a minute and are able to relocate to really obscure places, this job could be yours.
You can meet one of the auto-completers here.
Comic Sans, AnyEveryone?
Do a search for Helvetica on Google and you will receive a result page restyled entirely in Comic Sans. You know Comic Sans, right? The font most despised by respectable designers and loved by children all over. (Do a search for comic sans and you get the same thing.
This prank, presumably, is to draw more attention to the Chrome Web Store, where you can download app that extend Google's Chrome browser. Go to the Chrome Webstore now and you can download the Comic Sans for Everyone Extension to make every font (including text boxes) Comic Sans all the time.
More Fun With Chrome
Google Chromercise is a way to keep your fingers in shape while you use Google Chrome. Chromercise comes complete with finger sweatbands and a cheesy 80s workout video that would make Olivia Newton John Proud.
NEW! Google Blimp Ads: ROI in the Sky!
Blimp ads (beta) are here with enhanced targeting features, including blimp height and location, Google announced via Inside AdWords. Other options include special event targeting, such as:
- Baseball games
- Football games
- Outdoor concerts
- Meteor showers
Not surprisingly, Google has extensively tested these ads and found they work amazingly for blimp marketers.
AdWords Goes Retro-Annoying with New Display Ad Templates
Tired of boring old display ads in your campaigns? Want to engage your users more? That can happen with the Google's new Display Ad Builder templates. Choose from "Punch the Monkey," "LOLCats," "Pop Ups Gallore," and more!
Yes, now you can visually explore a 3D cow. Oddly not called "Moogle."
Google Maps Real World Sightings
Google Maps and Earth is now tracking Real-World Sightings. So far, some creatures Google users have spotted include:
- A dragon in Pfälzer Wald, Germany's biggest forest.
- A shark in IJmeer Lake in Holland
- A narwhal in the Thames, England, near Millbank Tower.
- And even the Loch Ness Monster
Google noted that they will "tweet some tips to help you get started finding these images on our Twitter handle @GoogleMaps, so follow along throughout the day to spot some fun things you may have thought only existed in legends and fairy tales!"
Have you seen any other strange creatures in Google Maps today? Aliens? Pink elephants? Let us know where you find them in the comments!
And More Google Hijinks...
Ave-hay un-fay ith-way Ig-pay Atin-lay Oice-vay Earch-say.
Google China has released Google Teleporting Search to let you search in a different time period.
And as we reported earlier, Google Japan postponed April Fool's this year.
Meanwhile, YouTube posted the Top 5 Viral Pictures of 1911.
Non-Google April Fools 2011 Follies
If you haven't seen Hulu today, they've gone retro. Not only has the CSS become very text-heavy, but the video stills are grainy and reminiscent of bad VHS tracking.
And when you click a video link, you'll need to wait to connect by modem, too.
Groupon Now Owns April Fools Day
In a nod toward recent ridiculous patents, Groupon announced it filed a patent on april fools pranks. Anything related to April 1 will now officially be referred to as "Groupon Presents April Fools' Day." You can read the patent filing.
LinkedIn People You Many Know
If you're a member of LinkedIn, you'll want to log in today and see if there are any people you know that you may be missing connections with. I, for one, need to reconnect with Robin Hood.
Wolfram Alpha Changes Name
The brainy but fun search engine that no one can remember the name of, acknowledged their failings to go mainstream and so settled on fundamental change to the name and logo.
Living Social Spa-Lami Offer
Trademarked Hashtags: Webby Awards Vs Chris Webby
Chris Webby has issued a cease and desist order to the Webby Awards claiming that he owns the trademark '#webby' and accuses them of using his trademark to promote their brand on Twitter. He even rapped about his disdain for internet nerds to make sure they got the message.
Seen any other pranks? Let us know in the comments.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!