Google Caffeine, the latest update to the monster search engine, was revealed last week. My initial reaction was disappointment.
Google is a company known for innovation. A company famous for providing inspiring and useful products. A company with a reputation for branding these products with clever and star-gazing names. Chrome. Wave. Android.
Caffeine just seems to be selling Google short. This update is billed as a major step forward for the search engine giant and by all accounts, a lot of effort has been put into redefining the way the wee little search spiders operate. It's just a shame the codename - Caffeine - lacks the va-va-voom of the actual product.
A codename should be innovative and awe-inspiring. When I hear a codename, I want to imagine Sean Connery in a Navy uniform, sensually whispering the word into the quivering receiver of a red telephone.
A codename personifies a project. When people don't have any product information to go on, a super-secret moniker needs to be a standard bearer. A word to represent how life-changing this new service will be; a viciously-proactive noun for instance – destroyer, killer, tankmouth.
Nintendo initially opted to name the soggy-sounding Wii, the Revolution. BlackBerry took their inspiration from Dirty Harry's penis-extension of choice.
At its core though, a codeword should be cool. Indeed, companies need to pander to the zealots. No self-respecting kool-aid drinker is going to review a product on Amazon six months pre-release if its name sounds like a new body scrub.
Certainly, a codeword should not float in subjectivity. Caffeine suggests sleepless nights worrying about results pages or bleary-eyed meetings desperately trying to explain to a client why their website has slipped into the SERP abyss.
Caffeine is an ominous title and if Google wanted to scare any SEO copywriter to ever type a keyword surely there are more apocalyptic codewords on offer. Google End Of Days, Google Threat Level Orange or Google They're Coming To Get You Barbara.
I'm genuinely excited about Google Caffeine. I think it will make search much faster and much more efficient. I just wish the team at Google hadn't decided to name their latest update after things in their eyeline during the meeting.