Google Holiday Easter Eggs

December 18th, 2008 at 12:00 am

holiday easter egg

Easter eggs are specially decorated eggs given to celebrate the Easter holiday or springtime. The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jellybeans. These eggs are often hidden, allegedly by the Easter Bunny, for good children to find on Easter morning. [WikiPedia]

However over the years of programming and creating applications, software developers in their boredom often included hidden goodies that display on the screen as a result of a certain command.   These commands are usually not published and are discovered by accident. As a result these extras are called Easter Eggs in the computing world.

Google is known to hide Easter Eggs in their products.  An example of which would be the flight simulator in Google Earth which can be accessed by hitting Ctrl+Alt+A in Google Earth 4.2.  It’s a fun extra.

Now, nearing Christmas day, Google has again inserted easter eggs in their most popular product, Search.  As the engineers at Google expected, there would be a sharp increase on search queries using the keywords related to Christmas.  So as an easy-to-find easter egg, they’ve put holiday decorations on the ads on the results pages of the query.   

The Easter eggs also appear on the search engine results pages of related keywords such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa Gifts, Christmas Sweaters, Hanukkah Sweaters, etc.  It’s unknown whether these easter eggs have been put to highlight the ads on the page or simply out of fun.  Nonetheless, it does a great job of boosting sales this season.