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April 12, 2006

Google Changes Name to Corn Song

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In case you were wondering if Google felt bad about censoring search results in China – they don’t. Google CEO Eric Schmidt says the decision to censor Google China was “absolutely the right one” and says telling China how it should be run would have been ‘arrogant’.

Schmidt spoke in China on Wednesday to announce the creation of a research center in Beijing that he hopes will be used to create ‘products’ for markets worldwide. No word what those elusive ‘products’ could be.

Schmidt also used the occasion to d├ębut Google’s Chinese-language brand name – “Gu Ge”. Now, I know it sounds like something usually mumbled by a drooling infant, but the word actually translates to “Valley Song” or “Corn Song” in Chinese. The name, which draws on Chinese rural traditions to describe a fruitful and rewarding experience, is meant to show Google’s commitment to China. Well, that just gives you the warm and fuzzies, huh.

While Google renamed itself High Fructose Corn Syrup Corn Song, Yahoo added satellite imagery to its maps and the rest of the world fell in love. Seriously, everyone is buzzing about Yahoo’s new high resolution maps which are supposedly better than Google’s. John Battelle, Google Blogoscoped, Charlene (who goes as far as giving a complete Yahoo/ Google/ Windows Live comparison test), Inside Google, Jeremy and just about everyone else, are all commenting about how great the new maps are. Personally, I’m walking a fine line of not caring and not being generally impressed. I punched in my old Long Island residence and all I got was a nice picture of the baseball field connected to the church up the street. I prefer Ask’s Aerial view which, when zoomed all the way in, lets me see my dad’s car in the driveway.

What I do find cool is the rumor that Yahoo is playing around with placing images in their sponsored search. Search Engine Roundtable is reporting a user in Canada was reading an article via Yahoo News and noticed the sponsored links at the bottom of the page had thumbnails of the linked sites next to each result. Using images to help increase your PPC click-through rate? Now, that sounds interesting – unless they’re immediately blocked by your browser. Then not so interesting. These results don’t seem to be showing up in the United States. All we get are boring tax season ads.

By the way, don’t forget to do that. Just 6 days left.

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One response to “Google Changes Name to Corn Song”

  1. Bruce Clay, Inc. Blog writes:

    Yahoo Helps Jail 3rd Dissident

    The search engines love China. Google visited last week to open a new research center, Bill Gates stopped in for a nice photo-op, and Yahoo just loves jailing Chinese citizens campaigning for democracy. Wait, which one gave you that bad taste in your m…



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