3 Lessons Learned from Google’s Background Mistake

Recently Google had enabled a new feature to their main search engine page, which just went international: custom backgrounds.

Google Frog Background

Creative and artistic images took the place of the plain white background that we have all grown so fond. But did Google go to far to imitate a rival search engine and lose its authentic brand feel? Here’s what we can learn from Google when it comes to our own business and brand.

1. Keep it real. Imitation is a form of flattery but people don’t want a copy of someone else’s product or service – they want something different. Being real means to be true to yourself and what you have to offer the online world. Use competitors as inspiration but always remain true to your customers, readers and clients.

2. Don’t make people think. Google users were quick to become confused. Did they type in the correct web address? Was there a hack on the Google website that was redirecting them to Bing? Don’t make people think their world was just turned upside down.

3. Never force something on someone. When change happens, people are quick to resort to panic and fear. If change needs to happen, a slow and steady change is always best. Forcing people into a change can force those people to run from your company, blog or brand.

Shortly after Google made a change to their background, the masses started to flood the Twitter and social media networking streams. People actively searched for “remove google background” and it became the top search term of the day. Tweets and status updates began bashing Google for becoming “Bing-like” and losing a corporate identity it has been building for over 20 years. In response, Google had no choice but to immediately change the default background back to plain white.

A lesson well learned from the world’s top search engine that we could easily apply to our own businesses and marketing. Thank you Google!

How do you keep it real in your brand and marketing? What do you do to make your products or services easier for your customers? How have you taken such practices to your online social media networks?

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