Google Renames Itself Topeka (Just for a Day)

Posted by: Olga Kharif on April 01, 2010

Go to Google.com, and you’ll see that Google has just renamed itself Topeka, after Topeka, K.S. Yes, it’s an April Fool’s joke. But it indicates that Google has noted the city’s efforts to attract its notice and to be considered for the Google Fiber project, which will bring ultra-fast broadband to a lucky city or several in the coming months.

On March 26, Google announced in a blog post that more than 600 communities have applied to be part of Google Fiber. Google has promised to pick at least one city by year-end. And Topeka, K.S., has been one of the most active and inventive in trying to persuade Google to come to its town. The city even jokingly renamed itself Google, K.S., for the month of March. Now Google is returning the favor. “Early last month the mayor of Topeka, Kansas stunned the world by announcing that his city was changing its name to Google,” CEO Eric Schmidt wrote in an April 1 blog. “We’ve been wondering ever since how best to honor that moving gesture,” Google said in an April 1 blog. “Today we are pleased to announce that as of 1AM (Central Daylight Time) April 1st, Google has officially changed our name to Topeka. We didn’t reach this decision lightly; after all, we had a fair amount of brand equity tied up in our old name.”

“Our new product names will take some getting used to,” Schmidt wrote. “For instance, we’ll have to assure users of Topeka News and Topeka Maps that these services will continue to offer news and local information from across the globe.” He noted that the renaming will have no bearing on which community Google chooses for its Google Fiber project.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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