Close
Close

Google Aquisition of ProBlogger – April Fools Day Recap

I think most people worked out that my last post (ProBlogger Acquired by Google) was an April Fools Joke – however I wanted to make sure.

It was an April Fools joke!

It’s been two years since my last April Fools Day prank – last time (in 2008) I issued a press release announcing that I was starting a new company – Pay Per Tweet. Of course back then the idea of sponsored Tweets had not happened and it caused some outrage – all I can say is that I hope this year’s prank comes true too! :-)

The idea for this year’s joke started with a dream – a real dream where Google actually did buy ProBlogger for a new blogging platform for professional bloggers. I tweeted the dream and it got such a good reception (including from a few people who work at Google/Blogger) that I filed it away as an idea for April Fools Day.

Yesterday I decided to go for it and wrote the press release announcing the acquisition. I even went so far as to register a domain for my next business venture – FoolsMedia.com and setup a twitter account for it (funnily enough that Twitter account is already getting followers and is featured on at least a couple of Twitter lists).

Of course running an April Fools Day post on your blog has some benefits and risks.

On the negative side – some people fall for it, and fall for it hard. Today I’ve had a lot of emails, DMs, comments and even a few phone calls congratulating me on the ‘acquisition’ (and a few accusing me of selling out). I even took a call from a family member (who was very happy for me) and another from a reporter (who wanted to run a story of me selling my blog). I’ve had to follow up with a few people to make sure that they realized it was a joke – although I have to say most got it.

On the up side – the joke was a lot of fun, caused a nice ‘buzz’, was retweeted a lot (actually I think most people who were fooled were on Twitter where people just saw the headline and started RT’ing like crazy without reading the post) and even got a few incoming links from other sites who pointed it out.

A big thanks to a few people for making this possible. Firstly to Google/Blogger for their inactive part in it (although guys…. if you ever want to buy a blog about blogging…. you know where I am), secondly to Lara who had to moderate the comments when my last post went up… and lastly to everyone who read and responded to the post (whether you were fooled or not) – thanks for playing.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. Jordy says:

    Well duh! :D

    Too bad about your family believing it an’ all.. :P

  2. Matt Blick says:

    Maybe you could do a post on how to sort the good gags from the bad. I just spent 2 hours undoing a bad joke that backfired !

    Sigh!

  3. @stuartflatt says:

    Quite original this, must have taken alot of time to come up with the idea….

  4. Leon Noone says:

    C’mon mate,
    Next thing you’ll try to convince us you barrack for St. Kilda!

    Really!

    Leon

    P.S. This is a peculiarly Australian comment. But as someone once said, “We’re a wierd mob.”

  5. Listen buddy, I just sent you a whopping cheque for FoolsMedia.

    Promise me you’ll rip it up when it arrives.

  6. I didn’t catch on until I clicked on the Fools Media Twitter link. Then I felt Rick-Roll’d.

    All I can say is: Good one!

  7. Shubh -RBT says:

    Nice idea. Hope you really get such an offer from google. :)

  8. Fikri Rakala says:

    Hahaha… You successfull fool everybody!

  9. Adele says:

    Great idea – joke or not. Could happen,

  10. Yeah! this is great! Using jokes like this on a popular blog like problogger will bring a lot of links and will cause a lot of buzz. Pls, will you be happy if google buys problogger? If so, watch out for something.

  11. Ask and you shall receive! Google would be silly not to purchase you! You provide genuine content, of value to your target market, with an engaged audience that avidly tunes in and “follows” you. You are the “brand ambassador” of the blogging world adding a nice niche and vertical to the “brand-to-be” in the search engine world. Brilliant!

  12. The editor in me wishes I would have said in my prior post, “Google would be a fool not to purchase you!”

  13. rj's mama says:

    a really good april fools joke :)

    what will you do if google does offer to acquire problogger?

  14. Lara Kulpa says:

    Awhh! It’s my pleasure, Darren! Was a lot of fun to watch people’s reactions all day! :)

  15. I find it amusing how many sites picked up the story and did not check the facts.

    You got me. I was envious (more than normal) for a time. Well done.

  16. fehmeen says:

    I fell for it. Came her to comment but felt silly after reading the title :$

  17. Steve says:

    Hey Darren,

    That is hilarious. I had “heard” from a friend that your blog was acquired by Google and I immediately was like,

    “What!”

    I was really excited for you :-)

    I even wrote about it on Linked-IN in a discussion about why you should never choose your personal name as the domain name of your blog – because then you could never sell it ;)

    Love the joker in you :)

    Steve

  18. Leyla Torres says:

    Nice laugh to start my day!

    Leyla

  19. Love it ^^

  20. You definitely have the opportunity to pull one over on the silly Americans who are eating breakfast on March 31st at the same time that you’re flipping the calendar to April in Australia :)

    It’s a bit sad that the reporter didn’t take a moment to read the article first.

  21. bbrian017 says:

    Darren to be honest I thought you were for real. The first thing I said was wtf would Google want with Pro blogger.

    p.s. I hate April fools day for this exact reason.

  22. @bbrain017 – I’m with you on this one! :)

  23. Bustor says:

    No offense intended but really I do wonder how many people believed your story :D
    Google has a lot better things to do :D

  24. Well maybe that dream will come true for you soon enough. I just got an email out of the blue from the CEO of a huge website that wants me to be a permanent guest expert on their site, so stranger things have happened.

    I’m sure the folks at Google are at least entertaining the idea, since they see and hear EVERYTHING.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  25. Josh Garcia says:

    Hey Darren,

    Don’t be surprise if they will knock on your door asking to partner up with you.

    Chat with you later…

  26. hehe.. like the idea behind the post. though had already guessed about it…

  27. You also had the time zone problem. It was far earlier than April 1 when folks in the US read the blog

  28. Honestly, This is a great dream. Hope it can become reality in future.

  29. Mike Hooker says:

    Darren,

    You sold me on it lock, stock, and barrel until the last line. Good job. I thought as I read it, “Darren is now a multi-millionaire.” Great joke.

  30. This joke was one of the best (if not the best). Right up there with Google (Topeka), Qualcomm and the Pad-Dock. Not only did it (and the other three) surprise and fool a lot of people, but it drove some strong brand recognition and made people think (once again) about the authority that you have.

    The fact that so many people believed you means that a lot of people recognize your value, and for that, you should recognize it as a huge compliment.

    So even though the real announcement isn’t true, congratulations on gaining the trust of thousands of people, and building a brand that people know is awesome.

  31. I fell for it too… my heart sank as I saw the post title in my Google Reader.

    Then the time zone kicked in, and I saw the tag at the bottem… releif.

    Thanks for the entertainment Darren!

  32. lol — Got me!

    well, living on the other side of the dateline, it was still March when your press release hit here. As an Australophile, I should have recognised the day for what it was down under.

    Good one!

  33. DB Ferguson says:

    I do appreciate you at least letting people know it was a joke at the end. I hate getting suckered into a joke – it’s not funny, it’s frustrating.

    The April Fool’s joke on my site is simply a new header graphic that anyone who had ever seen my blog before ever (and new people as well I’m sure) would see as a definite joke.

  34. Nice joke. I just found your blog yesterday and was intrigued by the story of you being bought up. Anyways, you can add an extra reader from that joke as I am entertained and will continue to read.

    Have fun blogging,

    Steven Goodwin
    http://www.myglobalnpn.com

  35. Jeff Schuman says:

    I was going to blog about this and congratulate you. Good thing I decided to check out your blog first. :-)

  36. Melvin says:

    lols. but Im interested whether you would really sell your blog to Google if opportunity presents itself?

  37. This was great and like you said, it created a nice “buzz” for your website and some incoming links. That can happen when you’re a blogosphere superstar. It was nice to get a reply from you on twitter last night. I’m sure you were overwhelmed.

  38. I’ve become an avid admirer of this web site for some time and not truly offered nearly anything back, I hope to improve that later on with an increase of talk.Thanks for another new inclusion to the web site.

  39. scheng1 says:

    Next time, buy a single share of Google from the NYSE, and then say “Problogger acquires Google! Not an April’s Fool Joke”

  40. When I saw the title of the post “Google Acquisition of ProBlogger”, my heart sank. I felt disappointed, betrayed, sad and almost angry. I didn’t buy the rational that Darren give. Mainly because I know his heart is really into blogging and his readers and the blogosphere mean a great deal to him.I had completely forgotten about all fool’s day. On seeing the subsequent post, I must say, I’m really happy this was just a joke.

  41. Christian says:

    But if it comes to reality, Google acquires Pro Blogger, it will become a huge news for blogger like me. Happy Easter

  42. Robert says:

    W0w, it seems that majority are being fooled by you. ajaja :) nyc joke

    regards,
    robert

  43. Grant Gorton says:

    I am glad you care about quality. The problem is that not enough individuals take the time to embrace talent. It’s a bigger issue at hand. The business as a whole is oversaturated. We need to begin to teach the youth and new generations about the culture as a whole. :) :)

  44. Hi Darren l Just read your first email and noticed the tag April fools. I must say I got sucked in and thought WOW!! Good on ya Darren. I checked this post and realized, yes it was an April Fools joke. I was worried we wont be able to keep up to date with your Problogger advise blogs. Whew, every things back to normal now. You got me Darren.

  45. TJ says:

    scheng1 wrote:

    “Next time, buy a single share of Google from the NYSE, and then say “Problogger acquires Google! Not an April’s Fool Joke””

    2 thumbs up for coming up with that idea! That is a good one… a real good one!

  46. Clarabela says:

    Ha ha…you almost had me. I would love to know what your stats were for that post.

  47. Money Funk says:

    LOL. I actually fell for it. I just got back from Maui and was catching up on my email. Didn’t see the time stamp and thought it was real. Tweeted and found thru friend it was a joke. Ha!

    That was a great one, Darren. :D

  48. Ashwin says:

    Hey Darren,

    Heard of the Law of Attraction & ‘The Secret’?
    Maybe it will just happen because you took the time to make it look real.

    You unconsciously got a dream rolling & got all the details, right? One never knows!
    May your dream come true!

    Until then, good luck LOL!

  49. i-Blogger says:

    I think the thing that made people believe the joke is the fact that it’s something that could happen, and probably will. This blog has a lot of value for me and other Pro-Blogger readers.

    Thanks for taking the time to have some fun, I think that it’s important to laugh and have a good time in this serious world that we all live in.

  50. Michelle says:

    This joke was one of the best (if not the best). Right up there with Google (Topeka), Qualcomm and the Pad-Dock. Not only did it (and the other three) surprise and fool a lot of people, but it drove some strong brand recognition and made people think (once again) about the authority that you have.

    The fact that so many people believed you means that a lot of people recognize your value, and for that, you should recognize it as a huge compliment.

    So even though the real announcement isn’t true, congratulations on gaining the trust of thousands of people, and building a brand that people know is awesome.