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Posted on Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 11:06 a.m.

Toto, I've a feeling it's not Google anymore: Search engine giant changes name to Topeka for a day

By Cindy Heflin

Is it a sign that Topeka will be the winner in the contest to lure Google's high-speed Internet network?

Google says not - and many in Ann Arbor hope that's true - but Google has given a tip of the hat to the Kansas town in an April Fool's Day joke, temporarily displaying Topeka on its home page instead of the familiar Google lettering.


This screen grab shows Google's home page today.

Google explains it this way in the official Google blog: "Early last month the mayor of Topeka, Kansas stunned the world by announcing that his city was changing its name to Google. We’ve been wondering ever since how best to honor that moving gesture. Today we are pleased to announce that as of 1AM (Central Daylight Time) April 1st, Google has officially changed our name to Topeka."

The blog post even offers some practical advice on how to use "Topeka" in conversation, as in "I did a Topeka search" and "I Topeka'ed him." Not, it says, "I topeka'd him," or worst of all, "I topeka'd him with Alta Vista."

Ann Arbor and Topeka are among cities vying to lure a fiber optic network capable of Internet speeds 100 times faster than current commercially available service. Google asked for applications from cities interested in become a site for the network. More than 1,100 communities applied.

The Google blog post says its decision to play the little practical joke will have no bearing on which communities it chooses for the high-speed network.



Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 2:12 p.m.

Shameless Plug: For those interested in a follow-up, next week the Ann Arbor Computer Society will have Dan Rainey talk about the status of the A^2 Google Fiber initiative and where Ann Arbor stands and what comes next. More info at


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 10:55 a.m.

i retract my comment! the vowel outage was this years!


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 10:48 a.m.

It says its a joke. read a little more carefully.


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 10:48 a.m.

This article clearly states that it's an April Fool's Day joke; they knew that. Also Google does state that the name prank is not a sign that the community is being selected for Google fiber: "Finally, we want to be clear that this initiative is a one-shot deal that will have no bearing on which municipalities are chosen to participate in our experimental ultra-high-speed broadband project, to which Google, Kansas has been just one of many communities to apply."


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 10:46 a.m.

Given that this is an April fools joke, this may be saying Topeka is out of the running.


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 10:39 a.m.

it's an april fools joke, y'all! they pull a prank every year - check your sources!