Smells like April Fools' Day. You know, immature and cheesy, with a quick, bright finish. At least according to Google Nose, one of the latest additions to Google's long line of new technologies that never seem to quite make it past April 2.
Much like in 2012, the April Fools' Day pranks arrived early from Google – and it brought the shocking news that YouTube is shutting down to prepare to pick the Best Video ever. Read on for an ongoing recap of all the practical jokes.
YouTube began in 2005 as a contest to find the best video in the world. And now it's finally time to pick the winner, the YouTube Blog announced..
"Tonight at midnight, YouTube.com will no longer be accepting entries," said Tom Liston, Competition Director at YouTube, said in the video above, which features many stars from viral video, and was posted hours before it officially became April 1 in the U.S. "After eight amazing years, it is finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner."
The video warned everyone to watch everything before YouTube deleted it all. Make sure to check back in 2023 when YouTube returns online and you'll see the "Best Video" winner … and nothing else.
Watch the nominee announcement April 1 at 9 a.m. PT, as YouTube promises to announce all the nominees for 12 hours every day over the next two years here.
Ever been searching Google and wanted to know what something smells like, what other searchers are sniffing for, or wanted to share an aroma via Google+? Well, take a whiff from Google's Aromabase and its whopping 15M+ scentibytes collected by StreetSense vehicles and Android Ambient Odor Detection.
Does Google Nose have the smell of success (sweet)? You decide.
Courtesy of the Google Aromabase, you can search and smell:
Yarrr! Google has introduced Treasure Mode to Google Maps. The goal is to solve a mystery involving a treasure map that once belonged to an infamous pirate Captain Kidd.
The maps let you explore 2D landmarks as you explore for hidden treasure chests. And as Google warns, "Treasure Maps is our Beta Maps technology and has certain system requirements. Your system may not be able to display at higher resolutions than paper print. Take care when unfolding the map to avoid ripping it."
Celebrating its ninth anniversary today, Gmail is going blue, according to the Gmail Blog. And only one of the statements in that previous sentence is true.
It's Gmail. Only bluer. Why? Because brown was a disaster.
Bold is blue. Underline is blue. Italics is blue as well. Your message composes in blue.
Can you believe you've waited this long for this?
Checked the Real-Time section of Google Analytics lately? You should. You just might have 41 active visitors on your site from the International Space Station – Control Room:
If you click on that "city", then click on Traffic Sources or Content and you'll get a special April Fool's message:
For those in Australia who want to turn their house into "virtual artwork" on Street View, Google has unveiled Google SCHMICK – the Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit.
"Forgot to mow the nature strip? Deck it out with some fresh buffalo grass. Front steps falling down? Swap them out for doric columns and a pergola. Graffiti on the front fence? Cover it with so many palm trees people will think they’re on the Vegas strip," reads the blog post.
Check out this amazing renovation courtesy of SCHMICK. Watch this:
Now try it out for yourself here.
Sometimes (apparently) your face doesn't tell the whole story. Sometimes you need an emoticon. Whether you're feeling a little :-) or :/, Google's "Add emotion" button now has you covered.
"We will plumb the emotional depths of everyone in the photo, then summarize their feelings with a beautifully crafted, emotion icon," reads the Google+ post. "Click on the button again to return to the original version of your photo. We hope you enjoy using the feature and we look forward to seeing your emotionally-charged posts "
Ever wanted to make an email subject more fun – you know, maybe turn a subject line like "HR Memo" into "The New Hotness" but didn't know how do it? Or optimize a presentation into something more eye- and ear-catching?
Now there's a Google App for that.
"Created in partnership with legendary improv comedians from Chicago's Second City Communications, the Levity Algorithm is carefully tuned to help you spice up even the most boring of work days," reads the Google Enterprise blog post. "Send happier emails, hold more engaging meetings, write more mind-blowing presentations -- and above all, turn those frowns upside down."
Simply turn on the levity and your Google Calendar will be packed with fun events such as a chat w/ T. Fey, drinks with S. Colbert, or morning pool party and massages.
Aside from being an obvious shot at Google, what is Bing Basic? As the blog post explains, it's a "special test" that discourages exploration and discovery and with a bland "1997, dial-up sensibility." So if you go to Bing's home page and type in "Google" you'll see this:
Hover over the colored boxes and Bing will give you the following messages, along with a link to a related Bing Images search result:
Click on the "I'm Feeling Confused" button and you'll be taken back to the explanatory blog post.
As for the SEO tag, Bing's post explains that you can now take control of your search rankings. With two pieces of code, you can either tell Bing what position you want your site to appear in, or simply rank one spot higher than your competitor. They are:
< link rel="SEO" query="weather" set_to_position="2" />
< link rel="SEO" must_be_before="*.mycompetitor.com/*" />
"Upon launch we’ll only recognize one “must_be_before” tag, but beginning on April 1st, 2014, you’ll be able to stack up to 50 of them in your code to offer greater coverage for your site," says Bing.
Introducing Wolfram|Alpha's Handwritten Knowledge Engine – the only Handwritten Knowledge Engine that has a team of real humans ready to transcribe and illustrate your queries.
A warning from Wolfram|Alpha: "I definitely cannot recommend running your homework through Wolfram|Alpha, printing out the handwritten results, and trying to pass them as your own. Definitely not."
Act fast before everyone gets hand cramps and calls it an April Fools' day. Probably right around midnight.
Want to use vowels in your tweets? It'll cost you $5. Twitter's new Twttr service has arrived. Consonents are still free – and Twttr promises "y" will remain free "today and forever".
Additionally, Twitter has expanded from 140 to 141 characters, but the price for that extra character is "based on a bidding system reflecting the popularity of the character you would like to add."
"We’re doing this because we believe that by eliminating vowels, we’ll encourage a more efficient and 'dense' form of communication," reads the blog post. "We also see an opportunity to diversify our revenue stream."
What's your favorite spoof this year?
Seen any others? Let us know in the comments and we'll be sure to add them.
Updating…check back soon.
This article was originally published on Search Engine Watch.
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Danny Goodwin is associate editor for Search Engine Watch, where he also covers the latest search marketing and industry news. He joined Incisive Media in October 2007, in charge of copy editing columns that appeared on both Search Engine Watch and ClickZ. Prior to a life in the search industry, he worked in the journalism field, working in numerous newsroom positions, before later working as a freelance copy editor.
December 12, 2013
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