Google copies icon from Japanese portal goo (maybe not)

You might notice that Google changed their favicon image which you see on your browser addressbar this week.
Google\'s new favicon
Here is NTT Resonant’s portal site “goo“‘s icon,

goo is one of the biggest portal in Japan, though the gap to the leading Yahoo/Google is big, goo is ranked at 10th among Japanese websites in Alexa traffic.
If you think their name “goo” sounds like a Google’s copy, that’s not possible. “goo” was established in 1997/3 as a Japanese search engine based on Inktomi technology, whilst Google was founded in 1998/9.
So does this mean Google try to steal goo’s popularity in Japan? Of course not. The icon change seems to be applied all over the world. It’s just a designer’s accident but also shows how Google does not care about their local competitors.
Thanks for letting us notice > Tatsuwo

3 comments

  1. Ahh. Thanks for the explanation about Google’s new favicon. I thought I must have installed some add-on that caused the change. I personally don’t like the new favicon at the moment. It looks amateur and doesn’t feel Google-like at all. I guess I’ll get used to it.
    I wonder if this is the sign of a bigger brand change to come?
    Just for interest, do you happen to know where the name ‘Goo’ comes from. I checked Japanese Wikipedia but couldn’t see anything.

  2. NTT group explained the name “goo” came from “g∞”, “g” plus infinite symbol “∞” (I hope you have appropritate font to read).
    And the “g” means “the global network”. So in total, it symbolizes “the global network is growing infinitely”.

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