Few companies know how to brand—or how to build buzz—as well as search engine giant Google. The company recently showed their marketing prowess once again with the much discussed unveiling of Google Instant. The build up to this event included changes to familiar Google logo, changes that were met with a mixture of confusion and discussion.
Google routinely features logos commemorating various events, but these tend to be obvious—or at least easy to investigate. The new logos in this case were cryptic and more difficult to understand. One version featured a search page covered with balls in the signature Google colors that came together to form the logo. However, when a mouse pointer neared the balls, the scattered once again. Another version showed the logo in black and white, slowly turning it to color as the search terms were typed into the text box.
The whole point of these and other alternate Google logo designs was the unveiling of the much awaited new Google Instant, which has been worked on in relative secrecy within the company for two years now. This new feature is supposed to offer easier and faster searching, automatically showing results as the user types and offering far fewer results per page.
This new feature will mean several big changes for the Google brand. First, it is now officially the technological leader in search, if it wasn’t already. No other search engines offer anything even remotely similar, even the increasingly popular Bing. Second, it is no longer the ‘people’s search engine’; at least, not for now. As more and more people begin to try Google Instant, the outcry has been instant as well… and constant. Some are annoyed by the constantly changing results as they type; others decry the disappearance of the signature “I’m feeling lucky” button. Also, people will no longer be prompted when they begin to type in terms that they have searched before. As experts claim that 40% of searches are repeat ones, this may cause a small amount of inconvenience.
A last impact is on the world of SEO, or search engine optimization. This term refers to strategically placing certain phrases in a way that pushes your website further up the page of search engine results. Because Google is prompting certain common phrases, there will likely be many more searches for these terms. This means that more people, websites, and businesses will be fighting for a narrower range of terms. SEO experts will have to learn how to modify their strategies to get maximum results in this new platform.
Many people were happy to get their regular Google logo design back following the unveiling of Google Instant. Whether they want their old Google back as well will remain to be seen. The first reaction to new technology is often bewilderment and anxiety, but we have seen numerous new ideas integrate seamlessly into our lives. For now, the Google brand seems to be in a state of change, but remaining as strong as ever.