I don’t know if you’re like me, but I tend to get into a heightened state of awareness on the 1st of April every year, meaning I’m more critical in my assessment of every story and announcement. Perhaps that ruins it a bit? I can’t help it!
So, who’s launched which miraculous, ludicrous and pointless products this year as if they’re real?
Matt Cutts Auto SEO
Matt Cutts announced his new Auto SEO program, and in a tongue-in-cheek nod to those oh-so clever names SEOs sometimes gives themselves it’s called “seo.ninja”. Writing on his blog he says:
“One of the ideas that helped the World Wide Web succeed was that it separated presentation and content. You could write your text and decouple it from the problem of how the text looked. AutoSEO takes that to the next stage with search engines, so you don’t have to think about things like redirects.
How much would you pay to never have to worry about keyword density, H1 headers, or meta descriptions again? How about.. free? That’s right, AutoSEO is free for individual, students, self-hosted installs, and companies with fewer than 100 employees. AutoSEO is also built from the ground up to handle mobile browsers.“
Sounds great! I’m going to pop my details in and then I expect I can go home…… For a very long time!
Unsatisfied with just that, he helped announce the launch of Panda 5 AND 6, in a video that is a bit of cheeky swipe at a certain large fruity technology company!
Check it out here: https://youtu.be/lI9Qb4PuiOU
Being such a big company, Google are really quite prolific when it comes to April Fools. I think my favourite product ‘launch’ ever was for ‘Gmail Blue’ – it’s Gmail….. but bluer…..! So this year I was a bit disappointed to first see reverse Google. Yes they’ve done a sort of clever thing with these new custom TLDs, but elgooG (see what they did there?) has been around ages.
Much more entertaining was the retro gaming tie in seen on the Google Maps product and Niantic’s game Ingress. Both have been updated to feature pac-man. In the latter it’s the simple addition of a few graphics and sound, basic but amusing. In the latter you can actually play pac-man down streets! Just go to maps and click the pac-man icon in the lower left hand side. We couldn’t play it in our locale, so we opted to try a random location:
Ah, The Register, “biting the hand that feeds IT”. Exactly where I go for my news when I want it to be less SEO/Marketing focussed and more tech driven. With of course all their ‘red-top’ cheek and creative sub-headings. Their April Fool’s offerings tend to be a little more esoteric – such as today’s story about nuclear waist burning through from Fukushima to the Falklands.
However what caught my eye today was this story: Netflix teams with AWS to launch VHS-as-a-service. This purposefully downgrades video quality to VHS levels – it’s the equivalent of a ‘vinyl rivival’ – sounds perfect for hipsters!
“Commentards” – as they call participants of the comments section – were quick to point out that arguably this could be a real service for people with poor bandwidth. But suck folk probably wouldn’t appreciate the warmth of the analogue vibe now, would they?
So what were your favourite April Fool’s Day announcement today? Did any of them catch you out as you waited on that first coffee of the day? Let us know in the comments!