Google's 2010 April Fools Day Prank

Don't Believe Everything You Read on April Fools Day

Today is April 1st which, as most people know, is celebrated as April Fools Day.

While this used to be a day, and still is for many people, a day for individual pranks, the rise of the media in our lives has resulted in the media joining in on the fun with humorous pranks of their own.

As I mentioned in my 2007 Hub about that year's April Fools prank by Google, it was the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC) which launched the first media April Fools prank with a 1957 broadcast about harvesting spaghetti on a farm in Switzerland.

In 2007 Google Announced its Invention of Free Broadband via Your Toilet

The advent of the Internet has resulted in more media pranks with the most clever ones, in my opinion, coming from Google.

Log on to Google and you will encounter an unexpected, but somewhat believable, announcement.

Google's 2007 prank was the announcement of its new TiSP service in which a user could order a cable from Google which the user would attach one end to wireless router and flush the other end down the toilet.

When the flushed portion of the cable reached nearest Google TiSP access point, a Google Plumbing Hardware Dispatcher would connect it and the user would have free Broadband access via their toilet.

The service also came with what Google called its In-Commode Package Delivery in which orders for goods placed over the Internet would be delivered instatntly to their toilet via the sewer system.

Joke Linked to Google's Fiber for Communities Project

This year when you access the Google Home Page, instead of the word Google appearing in the familiar red, yellow, blue and green letters, you see the word Topeka in the same colors and font along with an announcement that Google had, as of 1 a.m. Central time on April 1, 2010 changed its name from Google to Topeka.

The reason for this change was the recent action by the city of Topeka changing the city's name from Topeka, Kansas to Google, Kansas for the month of March. Following the city's filing of an application to be a part of Google's planned Fiber for Communities project in February the city attempted to catch Google's attention by temporarily and unofficially changing its name to Google, Kansas.

The Fiber for Communities is an experimental high speed network that Google is seeking to build and test in certain areas. The experimental fiber network will deliver Internet content to homes at the rate of one gigabite per second.

Topeka Changed its name to Google

In February Topeka submitted to Google its application to be one of the experimental sites and to draw attention to that application it temporarily changed its name to Google.


Apparently, not wishing to be confused with a city in Kansas, Google decided to pick up the city's former name and change its name to Topeka - at least for April Fools Day.

Thus, when people typed the URL Google.com the words Topeka appeared on their screen.

Like all April Fools jokes this one ended at midnight and Topeka (the company) went back to being Google (the company) just as the city of Google, Kansas has now gone back to being Topeka, Kansas.


Like the explanations by Google of its other April Fools Day projects, which are still available on its blog, you can still read the Google/Topeka Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt's explanation of the name change on its blog.

© 2010 Chuck Nugent

More by this Author


Comments 29 comments

FunSquaredNovelty 5 years ago

Google has a great sense of humour. Awesome prank.

www.funsquarednovelty.com


Morrow66 profile image

Morrow66 6 years ago

Its good to see that even google has a sense of humour :P


Edward Daniel profile image

Edward Daniel 6 years ago from United States

what a joke... lol


Gorgeously profile image

Gorgeously 6 years ago from United States

wow.. amazing!


Divorce in Detroit 6 years ago

My friends played a really good prank on my friend by posting a hot girls photo on craigslist and saying she was looking for a date. Needless to say, he was sent about 50 pics of "guys".


Chuck profile image

Chuck 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona Author

claire - Glad you enjoyed this Hub and thanks for sharing the link to the the prank your company played on its customers. That was a great laugh also.


Dental Nurse Jobs 6 years ago

Really enjoyed your hub, sending it around the office as we speak, my ribs are hurting lol


claire 6 years ago

Wow, Google always has the best pranks.

Funny stuff.

Reading this stuff never gets old. April Fools’ Day is one of my favorite times of the year.

We just pulled a good one over on our customers. Check it out:

http://queensboro.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/queensb...


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

I nearly got caught on the youtube prank but didnt! hehehe


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

LOL, how fun, great sense of humor, Love it, I so enjoyed your hub, keep them coming...


nazishk 6 years ago

Brilliant work, I am so enlightened now


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

This year on UK Google an 'animal translate' tool was on offer - so that you could work out what your pig or donkey was saying.

The Times (of London) had an advert from BMW featuring different colour logo badges to match the colour for each political party - handy for the lead up to the election.


Chuck profile image

Chuck 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona Author

nicomp - thanks for your comment and your link.

I read it and laughed again. I first saw it when I wrote the Hub on their 2007 prank but I don't remember including that link even though I enjoyed the prank and urge everyone looking for a good laugh to click on the link you provided above.

What is great about these April Fools Day gags by the Google Team is that they take a little step beyond the realm of what is believable but present it in a manner that sounds very realistic and believable.

But these tricks are from a company whose rapid success with a free product has been unbelievable.

After all, imagine a lead article on the front page of the New York Times on April 1, 1997 announcing that within the next year (1998) a couple of students at Stanford University would be launching a company that would be built around an Internet search engine that would be given away free. That giving this search engine away free would result in such rapid growth and profitability that the company would go public six years later (2004). Then, six years after that (2010) its stock would be selling for a mid three figure amount and the search engine company would be a global corporation of such magnitude that it would feel confident enough to say no to a major economic and nuclear power (China)?

Now that would have been an April Fools trick that was way beyond the bounds of believability.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

Everyone who obsesses over how Google ranks pages should read about their Pigeon Rank technology. http://www.google.com/technology/pigeonrank.html


devsir profile image

devsir 6 years ago from Earth

Interesting


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

LOL, it's nice to know even Google has a sense of humour!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 6 years ago from The English Midlands

Interesting and amusing :)


pond supples profile image

pond supples 6 years ago

Me to I was fooled by google, when i heard about the google TiSP. lool


GiftedGrandma profile image

GiftedGrandma 6 years ago from USA

Saw it and took me by surprise, only because I am not an April fools joking sort of person. It sunk in after a while..those senior moments kicking in :O)


artrush73 profile image

artrush73 6 years ago

Great Read :)


bobmnu profile image

bobmnu 6 years ago from Cumberland

Very interesting. I also saw the news article on the Georgia Congressman who was afraid that the Naval Base on Guam would tip and Capesize if the base expanded. Then the TV Anchor said that this was not an April Fools joke but that the Congressman was serious. After the video clip went world wide the Congressman's Office announced that the Congressman was being sarcastic but the Admiral did not catch it. I thought that might top Google but it was not a joke. Some times the truth is stranger than fiction.

Great joke by Google.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

I noticed that but didn't know what was going on. Thanks for explaining.


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

I missed this, darn!

Keep on hubbing!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

What a stroke of genius for Topeka to become Google for one month and ditto for Google to become Topeka for one day. A little healthy, funny PR goes a long, long way.

Thanks for telling us all about it, Chuck.


entertianmentplus profile image

entertianmentplus 6 years ago from United States

Well done good read.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Thanks for a great read.


samboiam profile image

samboiam 6 years ago from Texas

I was wondering about the Topeka thing but not enought to find out for myself. Thanks for the info.


ocbill profile image

ocbill 6 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

I saw Topeka too. it was odd but once i started typing in the search box, all was OK. The media will never do what HG Wells(or Orson?) did.


gramarye profile image

gramarye 6 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

Nice light read! I feel I have been entertained. Thanks.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working