Web Words

How do you know when you’ve made it? A Bentley, a Tesla, a private island?  Those are all good signs.  But how do you know when a brand has made it?  When it becomes a verb, that’s a pretty good sign.  We all google.  Everybody googles.  It’s a well established verb at this point.

In fact, Google is well beyond the verb now – there are all sorts of googlewords:

  • Google-fu, one’s ability to craft a search in such a way that it returns exactly the desired results.
  • Googlers are emplyees of The Google.
  • Googledom or Googleverse – it’s pretty clear what they are
  • Google Juice – essencially how much google likes you.  If your site has a lot of google juice it comes up high in a search for the topic it coveres.
  • Googlesmart – people who get everything they know from google
  • Something is Googlable if it can be found on Google. Things which are not googlable are sometimes said not to exist at all, or at least not matter much.
  • google bombing is the practice of changing the results of a google search on a specific term by making a lot of links to a certain site one pages that contain the search term.  The most famous example was searching for “miserable failure”, which directed you to www.whitehouse.gov for a long time.
  • googlewhacking is a game where you search google for two words (no quote marks) with a single result.

And there are tons and tons more.  Whatever It is, google made it.

Why do some brands become part of the language while others don’t?  Some just don’t work – you can’t Microsoft something.  You don’t MSN an old  friend’s name.  But others could work and just don’t catch on.  Yahoo has been asking us for years – “Do you Yahoo?”  But the answer is No.  Nobody Yahoos.  You can’t Yahoo.  You can use Yahoo (I do), but when you do you’re not Yahooing.

And then there’s Twitter.  Based on the number of Twitter based words they’ve made it, even if they did so without actually making any money.  They even have two verbs – Twittering and Tweeting are both acceptable.  Of course twittering was already a word, so I think it’s a little less impressive.  There are probabaly about as many words and phrases in the twitterverse based on the Twitter brand as there are for google.

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