Stop Using Google as a Verb!

Dennis Faas's picture

Google Wants You to Stop Using "Google" as a Verb.

Trademarks such as Kleenex, Xerox, and Band-Aid have all fallen victim to the public's genericization of their brand names -- and despite the company's protest, Google is encountering the same fate.

The company's extreme popularity and undisputed success as a web search engine has led many people to link Google's brand name with the process of Web searching -- "googling". (Source:

This year, the Merriam-Webster dictionary has added "googling" to their plethora of English verbs. The online version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "googled; googling" as: "to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web". (Source:

If you are like many people, you may use Google's name in a generic sort of way to refer to searching the Web (i.e. "googling"; "googled") -- but Google wants you to stop using their trademark name as a verb. Michael Krantz, a member of the Google Blog Team, emphasizes Google's trademark status and the inappropriateness of using "Google" to refer to anything but Google and its services:

"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." (Source:

Krantz went on to provide examples of the appropriate use of "google" as a word; he also pointed out that it's not okay to refer to searching on another website (such as Yahoo) as "googling."

To read the specifics of Krantz's examples on the proper usage of "googling", log on to the Official Google Blog:

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