It is no secret that Google is the world's leading Internet search tool. It is used over 200 million times a day; people in virtually every country in the world use it.
But this article is not about the noun Google, it is about the verb. The world's newest verb, “to Google,” has become a part of everyday vocabulary and a part of everyday activity, too. Many of us Google more often than we do any other task while at work each day.
It was just a few months ago that I started hearing this new verb used freely and without explanation. When I heard it used twice in the span of a few hours, I knew I was onto a trend.
The first time I heard someone use Google as a verb, I was on a conference call with a group of colleagues, discussing a new offering that we are about to launch. One of my colleagues explained that a certain competitor of ours was “certainly the perceived leader in delivering this type of offering.” But another colleague jumped in, “Apparently not, I just Googled her and almost nothing came up.”
Hours later, I was in a meeting with a prospective client. We were discussing the importance of internal branding, and I was explaining how I wrote an article about turning employees into brand evangelists. Before I could finish saying the title of the article, he said, “I know, I Googled you before you came in.”
This time I was Googled.
Perhaps one of the more recent catalysts for this new trend was the TV show Sex and the City. In an episode in the last season of this extremely popular show, Sarah Jessica Parker's character, Carrie Bradshaw, spoke with another character, Charlotte, about “Googling the Russian” to get more info about him.
Whichever the events that fueled this trend, being Googled or Googling is far from a fad. At a networking meeting, I discussed this phenomenon with a group of career-development colleagues. They unanimously agreed that being Googled is common—and it is here to stay. It provides another data point we'll use when making judgments about those around us.