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This article was published on September 29, 2009

Google Doodles: too sensitive to share with the world

Google Doodles: too sensitive to share with the world
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

Yesterday I wrote about Doodle Source and their goals of showing and archiving all Google Doodles. I linked to Google.com/logos where Google supposedly archives their own Doodles.

When I tried visiting that link I got a basic “404 – page not found” error page. I figured this section of Google was simply down for maintenance.

Google Logos

Then Pablo from Doodle Source left a comment explaining me that the Google Doodle page wasn’t down, it just isn’t accessible to anyone outside of the USA.

I couldn’t believe it at first but I checked with a Proxy service and Pablo is right.

Apparently those Doodles are too sensitive for the rest of the world to check out. So Google hides them. Instead of just showing them or redirecting to a local Google site they show a basic 404 page. Why? What is the point?

I must admit that it isn’t such a big deal (it is ‘just’ a doodle) but I couldn’t help thinking about it. Google spends a lot of time and energy on reaching the world. Why hide this particular part? And why hide it so well?

UPDATED: this conspiracy goes deeper than I thought. I tested it for 24 hours, on several machines and using several proxies and always had the same results. Then I published and suddenly the page seems accessible from (almost) everywhere. Either I jumped the gun or Google bugged our offices. I’m not paranoid, it is just that everyone’s out to get me!