Everything I Know about Marketing I learned from Google

FAQ #4: Did Google Approve This Book?

August 5, 2010 by Aaron Goldman


When I first contacted Google’s PR department to secure interviews with specific employees, it was made very clear that Google could not endorse any particular book or author. However, they were happy to help me get in touch with key personnel and, for the most part, allowed the interviewees to speak with me unmonitored and uncensored.

One thing that’s been a bit dicey relative to Google’s  policies is the use of “Google” in a domain. Originally, I secured LearnFromGoogle.com as the URL for my book and I used @LearnFromGoogle on Twitter to mirror it. This was before I had stumbled across these Google brand permission guidelines which state somewhat ambiguously, “We cannot approve the use of Internet domain names that use the word ‘Google’ or some variation of ‘Google’. For example, we would not approve a site called googleXYZ.com or gogggles.com.”

So do they prohibit it or just “cannot approve” it?

While no-one from Google had contacted me about my use of LearnFromGoogle.com, I thought I better play it safe and switched to GoogleyLessons.com. Sure, the letters “Google” still appear in order in this domain but Googley is a different word with its own meaning so I hoped (and still hope) it’s kosher.

As it were, Googley has turned out to be a more versatile phrase for use in my chapter summaries (Get Googley!) and, in general, conveys a more informal tone which is in line with my persona and the book’s narrative. Let’s just hope no-one from Google legal reads this post and decides to do more than “not approve” it!

Note: this post is part of a series. For more, see the full list of FAQs.

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