It’s a trademark issue, and I’m surprised it hasn’t come up until now. Google wants people to stop using the term “googling” to mean searching for something on the internet.
“We think it’s important to make the distinction between using the word ‘Google’ to describe using Google to search the Internet and using the word ‘google’ to generally describe searching the Internet. It has some serious trademark issues,” a representative for the search company said.
I understand where they’re coming from; if the word becomes too distinct from the product, they lose their ability to control their own name. And that could get annoying.
But, in all honestly; does anyone “google” something without actually using Google? And if so, what’s wrong with those people? You can’t “google” someone on Yahoo or Alta Vista. (Does Alta Vista even still exist?) That would just be wrong. I personally would never ever consider using the term “googling” to imply using just any search engine, but then, I am a librarian, aren’t I. But still. I “google” all the time. Using Google. I even sent one of my favourite people to Google as a human sacrifice. That’s what you call love. I wouldn’t betray them by “googling” through a Yahoo interface. Never! Anathema! Perish the very thought!