Google Revives Morse Code and Rotary Phones For April 1
It’s not all algorithms and keywords at Google. The goliath of online search and now smartphone penetration also showed its sense of humor on April 1 with a mock campaign promoting rotary phone platforms. “Every day dozens of Americans use rotary phones,” claims the Google Mobile Ads blog. Riffing off of its own recent initiative “GoMo,” which helps businesses create their own mobile Web site, Google offers the “GoRo” initiative to help SMBs craft great “rotary sites.” After all, metrics show that rotary phone usage finally will surpass smartphone use by 2015.
The GoRo landing page for the mock program offers links to testing your site and instructions for optimizing a site for “Morse code.” Google, which still is not The Onion by any means, only lets the joke go so far. Click on any link such as “find a Rotary Site Developer” or “Technology is Cyclical” and you get a pop-up reminding you of April Fool’s Day and redirecting the user to the standard GoMo site. Hilarity ensues.
Perhaps the sharpest Google prank goes to the Gmail team that promotes a faux Gmail app that uses Morse code to reduce the input to two buttons. Google even created an elaborate video explaining the technology of “Gmail Tap.”
The GoRo campaign was just one of a series of Web pranks from Google on April 1. At the Official Google Blog, the company announced a partnership with NASCAR that put the famous self-driving Google car into races. The company also posted an announcement that its “Google Maps” for the Nintendo Entertainment System would bring the mapping service finally into the 8-bit world.