Friday, May 02, 2008

What's in a name? Google

There are various ways of comparing Google with Yahoo. Here are a couple, from the comments to dot.life, the BBC technology blog.

  • Yahoo, well I can't remember the last time anyone said "can you Yahoo this for me?", everyone and anyone uses Google. [twelveightyone]
  • yahoo.com ... is still the most visited website on the web, as it has been for a long time. [iyatoni]
While Google undoubtedly has some advantages over Yahoo, the common use of "Google" as a verb is not a conclusive factor. People often "hoover" using rival vacuum-cleaners, and they "xerox" using rival photocopying machines. The word "YaHOO" doesn't make a good verb - the accent is in the wrong place. If you want your brandname to become a generic verb, choose a trochee - FEDex, GOOgle, HOOver, XERox.

I have little doubt that people will be "googling" long after Google itself has been supplanted by newer search engines. Or even by Yahoo2, if Ballmer's wildest dreams are fulfilled.

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