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Why do we Google?

Google logo

It’s all a question of brand, I suppose.  Back in the bad (good?) old days, there was no Google; search engines were pretty thin on the ground and those that were around tended to be a mass of adverts surrounding a little search box.  The results of your searching efforts were variable at best – type a slightly different search term a few times and you got totally different and often irrelevant results.  Back then, search was simple – SEO was a glimmer in the marketing mans eyes and websites were pretty much judged by their quantity of keywords.  Then, in late 1998, a revolution happened.

Google was born.

Two self confessed computer nerds had changed the face of search forever.  In a way, it was like the first form of social networking – websites were now judged primarily by the number of sites that link to, or ‘vote’ for them, a vote for how good they are in their field.  Everyone noticed that their search results just seemed to be better with Google – finding the information you wanted first time and without a mass of advertising invading your eyes on every search screen.  Google was (and still is) a plain white page with a logo and a text box; nothing more.  It was this lack of anything else that seemed to bring ‘trust’ to search – if there were no advertisers trying to divert you away from what you wanted, you just felt more certain that the results you got were real and not tampered with by companies with big advertising budgets.  It was the quality and trust in the search results that ultimately brought Google to be by far the most popular search engine.

Do you 'search'?

Probably not – you do what most people do, you ‘Google’.  It’s very rare that a brand becomes the name for ‘doing’ something and it only happens when that brand is completely dominant in it’s market place – do you vacuum your carpets or hoover them??  Google has become such a dominant brand that we don’t even question it’s use as a verb, but it’s also allowed Google to access almost every aspect of our lives.  I use my Google powered phone to make calls; I use my Google email account to email; I find the information I want with Google search, I write my documents on Google software and then store them on Google servers.  I don’t believe in everything Google does, but the fact is this, Google is interweaved in every aspect of my life simply because I 'trust' them.

If you want to build a brand there’s a lot to learn from Google - do whatever you do better than everyone else and never underestimate the power of building up trust between your business and your clients.

Recent comments


Josh on the 27th April 2012

I think its cool that a brand has been distinguished as something you "do". Why don't we say "yahoo" or "bing"? I like the way google sounds better and maybe so do others. Interesting article Alan. Thanks for sharing.


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