August 19, 2015
The owner of Alphabet Signs, a small Lancaster County sign shop that relies mostly on online sales, got a nasty surprise when he did a routine Google search of his company a few weeks ago.
The problem: Google itself had just announced that it was changing the company's name to Alphabet. The search engine is still called Google – nobody's going to ask you, "Can you Alphabet the name of the guy in that movie?" – but the larger parent company has been rebranded.
"I do a search, and I see Google is now Alphabet. I'm like, is this a joke or something?" said owner Daniel Keane to the Huffington Post.
Alphabet Signs isn't the only small company affected by Google's name change. The New York Times found an Alphabet Record Company in Texas, Alphabet Plumbing in Arizona and Alphabet Energy in California. The domain name alphabet.com was, of course, already taken, so Google has chosen instead to use the unique web page abc.xyz.
According to the sign company's IT manager Sean Master, search engine traffic to the site has plunged 30 percent, and half the normal amount of people are visiting the site.
The reason the Master knows this, of course, is that he uses Google analytic software like Adwords.
"The main takeaway should be that you've got to always watch your analytics," Master told HuffPo. "As soon as we heard the news, we were able to jump in, watch the impact, understand the impact and start making adjustments so our Adwords campaign didn't blow all of our budget on bad searches."
Thank goodness the company uses Google analytics. Otherwise, Alphabet Signs wouldn't know just how much Google is hurting it.