Halloween easter egg: Google protects itself from zombies

You probably saw Google’s Halloween logo today:

Google Halloween 2008 logo

But you may not have noticed that Google made another change for Halloween. Check out Google’s robots.txt file today:

Google Halloween 2008 robots.txt

That’s right. Zombies are disallowed from accessing /brains on Google today. You can never be too safe! πŸ™‚

Hat-tip to Google Blogoscoped spotting it first and to Search Engine Land for a round-up of Halloween logos.

47 Responses to Halloween easter egg: Google protects itself from zombies (Leave a comment)

  1. That’s funny.

  2. Hurray i am first one…. haha. that’s funny

  3. It’s one of the reasons why I love them πŸ™‚

  4. I’m sad, I was expecting to find something behind the URL google.com/brains …

  5. “Zombies are disallowed from accessing /brains on Google today. You can never be too safe! ”

    Only today πŸ˜€ ? He He! I wonder… πŸ˜‰

    Happy Halloween Matt! πŸ™‚

  6. What made this even more humorous was that I wanted to email this to someone, but I couldn’t think of anyone I knew that would get the joke. =)

  7. Zombies or Google? πŸ™‚

  8. Unfortunatly when you try to access http://www.google.co.uk/brains it says google doesn’t have any brains… oh dear!

  9. The protection may have come too late:
    “The page – http://www.google.com/brains – does not exist. “

  10. I’m not a zombie, but I can’t access http://www.google.com/brains either — there’s a 404. Surely an oversight? πŸ™‚

  11. It would have been cooler if they would have put some content inside /brains. Oh wait, that came out wrong! πŸ™‚

  12. Google is Great!

  13. Matt,
    Do you have any comment on the other (real) disallowed agents? Like:
    Disallow: /mac?
    Disallow: /microsoft?
    Disallow: /unclesam?

    (for example)

  14. No http://www.google.com/brains

    Hmmm me thinks they could of gone one step further.

  15. I notice that if I type the URL in, it says that brains does not exist.

    This is worrying.

  16. IanVisits: I just did the same LOL

  17. The YouTube Hallowe’en logo looks cooler.

  18. LMAO! You Googler’s have far too much fun. My fav’s are still the April Fool’s pranks! But would like to thank you for keeping the brain eating zombies at bay πŸ˜‰

  19. Douglas those lines are not user agents but actual folders. Google are blocking all user agents from indexing those folders.

  20. Josh and IanVisits, we don’t have any brains product; this is more of a preventative measure. You know what they say: a robots.txt a day keeps the zombies away! πŸ™‚

  21. Lol to late for twitter i think there branes got eat all ready

  22. As an aside, in the UK – Brains is a company which makes meatballs in gravy, which we call Faggots.

    Mr Brain’s Faggots

  23. Oh man, that’s hilarious. I lol’d

  24. @Matt.. a robots.txt a day keeps the zombies away! but i thought that a robots.txt a day would keep google away!!!

    If I keep altering it every day, I am sure that both i and google will get confused…lol

  25. Daniel Sterling

    how many zombie user-agent hits is google getting? πŸ™‚

  26. Hi Matt,

    It is very nice to see you and Google always remembering different festivals and traditions. I think this is something which makes Google really special.

    Yesterday, you remembered and greeted everybody a happy Diwali. That’s great

    I just opened google.com but I don’t see the good looking Halloween logo [it is 31st October night here]. May be Google has removed the logo?

    This is the first time I saw Google robots.txt file. I wonder why I haven’t opened this file before? I also saw the sitemap. There are so many URLs in it.

    And I hope all the zombies stay away from Google πŸ™‚

    Thank You Google and Matt for always supporting different festivals.

  27. Credit where credit is due. This is funny.

  28. jajaja that’s funny yes

  29. Funny lol

  30. LOLOL how did you find this?

  31. Matt, is google testing something new for serp sorting today?

    I heared that lots of people are noticing something like this… lots of sites with good placements are dropped in the last few hours.

  32. “Zombies are disallowed from accessing /brains” … seems a bit harsh on sarah palin

  33. That funny lol

  34. Haha, that is sweet.

  35. Matt I really like new feature from google searching page –
    View on a timeline and View on a map that’s great

  36. that’s pretty cute

  37. haha.. this post made the digg homepage πŸ˜‰

  38. “ExitMan Said,

    October 31, 2008 @ 7:35 am

    It’s one of the reasons why I love them :)”

    Couldn’t agree more!

    Heck, I even put on my Myspace ‘Hero: Google’ because it’s true – the little shreds of coolness I can translate from the big G corporate cog in to the lil olΓ© web marketing company I work for really does make a difference to morale. Just a shame that not everyone agrees that fun can also mean professional.

    Ohwell. Whatever. Nevermind!

  39. How could I have missed seeing that logo?

    They could have also blocked trick-or-treaters from accessing /candy in my opinion.

    Great stuff!

  40. Hah nice and it’s still there.

  41. Google really do need to protect “Brains” from Zombies what with their plans to have “Brains” robots piloting their Operation Virgle craft come 2014, better to be safe than sorry! πŸ™‚

  42. from Pigeon Tech to Zombie protection… I’m feeling really good about them!

  43. Not to mention they don’t like the Government:

    Disallow: /unclesam?

  44. How about..

    User-agent: Edu Spam Redirects
    Disallow: Google Index


    Then 7/20 or rather 35% of the top 20 won’t be just .edu spam redirects.

  45. hmmm… Zombies are not allowed to access brains on Halloween, but was dawn of the dead on a Halloween? I would keep that there as a precaution.


  46. Hi Matt,

    I am very surprised, to see, Google actually got a SpamBuster, but maybe this is just a Halloween Joke after all ?;-)

    If not, how can it be, that completely under your radar not only are a bunch of Lithuanian crooks abusing AdSense for almost 3 years now, but Google AdWords even still keeps advertising their “free hosting” which is nothing more than a honeypot to lure Millions of mostly underage users and Manga freaks into becoming webmasters of what might be one of the world’s largest Spam, Malware and Online Crime Gang so far (well unless you count some operations from China in ?;-)

    Feel free to get in touch with me. So far I would have to imagine, you’re no more real than Santa Clause or Rick Astley knows about IT Security.


  47. How about this one?

    User-agent: Kids
    Disallow: /tricks
    Allow: /treats

    hahaha It’s hilarious!!