Updated on December 10, 2021
Google announced today that in the name of an organizational effort, it’s putting its various businesses, including Google, Inc. itself, under a new parent company. The parent company’s name? “Alphabet.” The idea is to spin off the businesses not related to Google’s core/primary focuses under a broader corporate umbrella. Google’s stock will keep its current New York Stock Exchange names (GOOG, GOOGL), but trade under the new name “Alphabet, Inc.”
The reasons given for the reorganization are somewhat sound… for corporate America, anyway. News sent Google, er, Alphabet’s stock rising 6%.
It’s the new name that’s, well, one of the least creative names I’ve heard since “Verizon” came along at the turn of the century, or Netflix’s failed proposal to create “Qwikster.” Google’s argument for picking the name:
We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search! We also like that it means alpha-bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for!
Again, it feels creatively questionable; why not go with another obscure math term-related name, like what the name Google itself is based on, “googol?”. Google also apparently didn’t even bother to check to see who owns the social media/web URLs for various “alphabet”-related names. Which might explain why Alphabet, Inc.’s new website is www.abc.xyz. To wit:
- Alphabet.com is owned by BMW, and has been since 1997.
- The @alphabet Twitter handle is owned by a Cleveland resident.
- @abc is owned by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) television network, of course.
- @alphabetinc is also already owned by someone.
Yeesh. Isn’t all of this Website URL/Social Media Setup 101?! Something I’d expect one of the biggest names on the Internet to do better than my dinky little website?
I suppose Google/Alphabet might be planning to either take refuge in audacity and stick with such awkward Twitter/website names, or throw money at the actual name owners to try to buy the more desirable/logical URLs/handles. (Doubtful in BMW’s case.)
Slightly off-topic, but as for how I came up with “Anthony’s Notes?” It was my original Twitter handle, and I went with the current name at the suggestion of fellow blogger Heather Clitheroe. Before, my blog was named “Anthony’s Annotations,” which was alliterative, but a bit of a mouthful. If wondering, the domain registrar wanted over two grand for my full name as a .com URL. I’ve thought about changing my site’s name, but more than one of you have told me you like the name, so I’ll stick with it.
“Google Logo 1” by Ryan J. Quick is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Flickr / cropped from original)