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Well, that's one SEO hack... (view-source) (tutorspree.com)
72 points by kn0thing on May 10, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 64 comments


  Disallow: /harming/humans
  Disallow: /ignoring/human/orders
  Disallow: /harm/to/self

Virtues last reward is a great game. I hope that the robots of our future will follow this protocol

Brilliant -- I love source code easter eggs

One of my favorites is on Vimeo - if you crack open the JS console, it pitches you on applying for front in dev work with them.

Hah! That's pretty brilliant. Nicely done, Vimeo. OK, who else has awesome source-code easter eggs?

Even the President is in on it:


On a related note, I know the candidates have nothing to do with this, but I'm extremely impressed with Barack Obama's web presence. I was also very impressed with Mitt Romney's web presence during the election.

Well it's not like they were short of money to spend.


Message on console:

"Do you come here often? If so, we'd love to talk about opportunities on the IE team: http://www.microsoft-careers.com/go/internet-explorer/340041... "


Read the top comment, then scroll waaay down to the bottom.

Full disclosure: I work for Shopify

The tumblr website has the logo in comment, http://www.tumblr.com/ this was on HN a long time ago, someone complained about bandwidth and power wasted for only a few users who noticed it

> OK, who else has awesome source-code easter eggs?


What is going on there?

Open up the Javascript console..

Ahh, I just viewed source and saw an ultra-compressed bit of html and js originally.

Click view source, there's a url too....


Not exactly a source-code easter egg, but MySpace sends a random X-PoweredBy header with each request. A selection:

X-PoweredBy: Nerd Rage X-PoweredBy: The fire of 1,000 SUNS! X-PoweredBy: Interns

Of course it also runs on IIS, and this is MySpace we are talking about, so the geek cred is questionable here.

It's been kicked up a notch, though. It used to be Cold Fusion.

MaxCDN does, inspired by SoundCloud.

Some companies do that with http headers (e.g. Zappos, SEOmoz, GigaOM)


    $ curl -v www.reddit.com
    > GET / HTTP/1.1
    > User-Agent: curl/7.30.0
    > Host: www.reddit.com
    > Accept: */*
    < HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    < Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
    < Server: '; DROP TABLE servertypes; --

Same thing on soundcloud.

I'm pretty sure John McCarthy was the creator of Lisp, not pg...

Whoops - good point. Fixing now. I'll take the blame on that one. Meant to write ARC.

Yeah...we scattered some ASCII easter eggs around the site. Favorite practitioners of various subjects. PG wins for programming (duh).

We'll send a tshirt to the first person to find them all :).

> PG wins for programming (duh).


What makes you think it's SEO related? I don't think any search index would do anything with HTML comments.

While the markup doesn't do anything for SEO, Easter eggs like this are often created to help generate links back to the particular page from sites like HN...which can boost SEO.

The original submission title was probably tongue-in-cheek, but I'd bet the creator of the page had SEO in mind. Getting a ton of pg lovers who probably also link programming to link to a programming page on the site would be killer for SEO.

This is similar to creating a unique 404 error page that can generate tons of backlinks.

I think he was joking :p

Or that they made their website interesting enough for us to and link back to the website, talk about it here, and possibly increase traffic ;)

Are there any sites that publish the majority of it's content (or alternate) in html comments (view-source), rather than in visible markup?

My favorite source code easter eggs are all the odd little tidbits scattered throughout the Space Jam movie website...still up:


I assume the giant comment is what we're supposed to see, but I'm not sure how that's supposed to have any impact on SEO at all. Seems more like a tribute than a SEO hack.

You obviously know nothing about SEO. Having a Giant face in a comment of your page increases clicks, on average, by 147%. Give or take.

That is really cool - but who the hell found this, and how?

Does anyone know who the person in the homepage source code is?


I'm hoping it's Freddie Mercury.

I'm thinking it's Al Pacino in Scar Face. Freddie Mercury just as solid a bet though.

Looks like Jeff Bridges to me ...

Chuck Norris?

hint: frequent hn commenter

Looks like Matt Cutts.


# robots.txt file for YouTube

# Created in the distant future (the year 2000) after

# the robotic uprising of the mid 90's which wiped out all humans.

These are lyrics from this song, "The Humans are Dead" by Flight of the Conchords: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGoi1MSGu64

it adds 11.5k to the page (20% overhead) for an easter egg seems a bit excessive. it would be 10x smaller and more interesting to embed a js1k game or demo in the source.

gzip makes it quite a bit less than 20%

To be fair, I suspect it still amounts for 20% of the gzipped size.

i dont believe gzip typically applies to html, only to loaded text-based resources, js/css. i could be wrong.

either way that page's html does not come in compressed.

Gzip applies to whatever it's configured to apply to, and text\html is likely the most common mimetype gzipped.

tutorspree does indeed load with gzip:

  HTTP/1.1 200 OK
  Server: nginx/1.1.19
  Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 21:19:05 GMT
  Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
  Transfer-Encoding: chunked
  Connection: keep-alive
  Vary: Cookie
  Content-Encoding: gzip

i'm not sure where you're getting those headers from, this is what i'm seeing:

  Connection	Keep-Alive
  Content-Length	59127
  Content-Type	text/html; charset=utf-8
  Date	Fri, 10 May 2013 21:24:38 GMT
  Server	nginx/1.1.19
  Set-Cookie	....
  Vary	Cookie
EDIT: i ran it through IE and got these headers too. Then ran it through some other online header-check sites and got your headers in one instance.

the majority of my tests resulted in these: http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/check-server-headers/?go=1&...

My guess (based on your other posts as well) is that you might be running through a transparent proxy that's stripping gzip. :-)

I got my headers in Chrome on Windows 7.

On Chrome Windows 7 x64:

Maybe you're looking at the wrong resource?

i dont know what's going on. chrome here doesnt show gzip in the headers. various external header check tools also show no gzip. where else am i supposed to look?

gzip definitely applies to html in addition to js/css.

I've done the same thing on one of my sites, it shows my gravatar image: view-source:http://permutationer.com/

Best source code ASCII I've seen is from Rishi here: http://explicitly.me/robots.txt

I don't see anything interesting.

You may need to maximize your browser to see the effect while viewing the page source.

Thank you. I have a two-screen configuration, and usually use the smaller screen for Web browsing, and the larger screen for writing. When I dragged the view source tab over to my larger screen, I saw immediately what the big deal was. Cool.

I only see the ascii picture of Paul Graham and his profile text.

interesting. I can see more details when scrolling

He only wears shorts? Is there any truth in this?

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