How to block popular Google Doodles

Article #: Product Castle
KB-143 Guardian All

Summary

Google has many Doodles and hidden “easter eggs” that can potentially be of timewasting nature, or even be an online game playable in the browser. This article explains how to block these Doodles and “easter eggs” from being accessed through your Smoothwall.

Problem

To celebrate certain anniversaries Google has created “easter eggs” or what they call Google Doodles. These can be anything from a different image, to the traditional Google logo on the Google homepage or even full screen games playable in the browser. This article details how you can prevent access to these time-wasting activities.

Solution

To prevent these easter eggs from being accessed you need to create a custom category which contains several search terms, and then create a new entry in your policy table to block this category. You also have to ensure that the Online Games category is blocked, as the Google archive of previous “Doodles/easter eggs” are currently categorised as such.

The most popular Google Doodles/easter Eggs:

  • Do a barrel roll — Typing this in the search bar will make the page spin as if doing a barrel roll
  • Zerg Rush — Typing this in the search bar will make the search results into an online playable game of having to click on the incoming letters to defeat them
  • Askew — Typing this in the search bar will tilt the Google results page to the side
  • Pacman/Google Pacman — Typing either of these phrases will present the user with a playable version of Pacman above the search results
  • Atari Breakout — If searching on the Images tab of Google for Atari Breakout the images will turn into a playable version of the classic game Breakout

Step 1 Create the new category which will contain the search terms you want to block:

  1. Go to Guardian > Policy Objects > Categories.
  2. Enter a name (for example, Google Doodle Games)
  3. Enter the following under Search Term Filtering (Enter one search term per line in the format, [search term] )
    • [pacman]
    • [atari breakout]
    • [do a barrel roll]
    • [zerg rush]

Step 2 Create a new Web Filter Policy to include the new Category:

  1. Guardian > Web Filter > Manage Policies > Create a new policy.
  2. Create your new policy as follows:•
    • Who — Everyone *
    • What — Google Doodle Games
    • Where — Everywhere *
    • Action — Block

    * Change as appropriate

    When completed it will take a few minutes for the changes to take effect — you may need to restart your browser to see the changes.

    Once this is in place, users will not be able to use the Google “easter eggs” as they will receive a block page for the policy that the search terms are in.

Attribution:

Last updated: Author: Contributions by:
06 July 2017 Patrick Gleeson Chris Smith