Google Likes Yahoo's Design

    December 12, 2006

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery and if that’s true, Google flattered the heck out of Yahoo and thanks to a post by Yahoo’s Jeremy Zawodny, the flattery can be seen first hand. Oddly enough, the imitation focuses on mutual rival Microsoft, or at least their Internet Explorer 7 browser.

When IE7 launched, Yahoo developed an “optimized for Yahoo” version and thusly created a page celebrating this development (screenshot). Now Google has joined in the “optimized for” project and they too developed a page informing users of their intentions. The problem? Google copied – almost to a “T” – the same page layout used by Yahoo, graphics included (screenshot).

As indicated, Jeremy Zawodny pointed out Google’s imitation and evidently it had such an effect, Google decided to change their IE7 page so that it no longer resembles Yahoo’s. However, thanks to the power of the Internet (and screenshots), Google’s efforts have been captured and preserved for your enjoyment.

Update:  Google’s Matt Cutts has responded to Jeremy’s post.  He apologized for Google’s transgression, however, he also pointed out a couple of instances where Yahoo copied some of the layouts used by Google AdWords.  Matt indicates he was going to ignore Zawodny’s post but Robert Scoble convinced him to do otherwise.