Google have announced today, on their increasingly boring, Official Google Blog that they have decided the misuse of their trademark is unnacceptable. The huge success in their short life that has seen their name become part of everyday language and been included in the Oxford Dictionary as a verb, is apparently not good for business! From now on they would only like people to use the term ‘Google’ when referring to the trademarked company ‘Google Inc’, or as a verb to search for something on the site google.com.
What does this say about the company? Not really sure. Businesses (and humans alike) can only do so much to promote a certain image, and Google was always keen on being seen as the good guy. However, we must remember that they’re a multi-billion dollar company, they have a board of directors, they are incorporated (which means they have a legal commitment to making the most money possible for their shareholders), they are in a highly dynamic market and they are a major global power – they need to have stategies and rules. Unfortunately this may be the very thing that bursts their bubble. No one is really sure how and when their bubble will burst, but as IBM and Microsoft before them, it is likely to burst. A company that’s success is down to the fact that they are innovative and interesting…and well…fun, can’t suddenly turn into a dictating and controlling powerhouse without losing a serious batch of users.
Interestingly, China recently unblocked wikipedia claiming that the Chinese internet users couldn’t live without it! What does this say about all the companies that succumbed to the government’s censoring policy? Arguably Google (implying the trademarked company Google Inc) is more important for net users than wikipedia, and if they and other big players had held on a few months longer, we could see a situation today where very few sites are censored in the country.