Google Keeps Fretting Over Googling

    October 26, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Merriam-Webster’s and the Oxford English Dictionary’s addition of “Google” to their multitude of pages as a verb has given Google fits, and the company has been desperately trying to fight the genericizing of their trademark name.

Building a brand takes a combination of time, investment, and luck. Sometimes a brand succeeds in grabbing the public’s attention so well that the brand comes to be the conventional way to refer to a product or service without regard to who is providing it.

Which brings us to a recent post on the Official Google blog regarding The Fear the company has about going the way of Xerox and Kleenex. “What do zippers, baby oil, brassieres and trampolines have in common?” asked Michael Krantz of the Google Blog Team.

I would have guessed it was either the stuff that helped build YouTube’s traffic to the point where Google decided they would be worth buying the company for $1.65 billion or whatever Google stock is worth today. Or that the Google Blog had received another illicit post courtesy of an until-now undiscovered bug in Blogger.

Happily, neither example is the case here. Or sadly depending on your point of view and the kind of day you’re having so far. Instead, Krantz wants people to understand a couple of concepts. One – going to Google to search for information is just peachy keen.

Two – Googling for information makes the company’s lawyers very sad and bitterly vengeful. I know they have beaten on our Jason Lee Miller via email for committing this sin. The Washington Post and other publications have received similar nastygrams

Krantz’s post aimed at reinforcing the idea of Google as brand instead of Google as verb:

Google is a trademark identifying Google Inc. and our search technology and services. While we’re pleased that so many people think of us when they think of searching the web, let’s face it, we do have a brand to protect, so we’d like to make clear that you should please only use “Google” when you’re actually referring to Google Inc. and our services.

Krantz makes a fair point, but in our observation he and Google are fighting a battle that is not merely uphill, but scaling K2’s South Face while wearing only baby oil and a brassiere while toting a trampoline too.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.