Do Mormon SEOs Dislike "Caffeine" Name For Google Update?

Aug 12, 2009 • 8:14 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

As many of you know, Google is giving us a preview of their major indexing and infrastructure update. They named this update, the Caffeine Update.

Yesterday I spotted a thread at Google Web Search Help forums, with one SEO asking Google to change the name. I didn't know this, but Mormons mostly don't drink caffeine. More on why they don't drink caffeine over here.

The SEO said:

I'm not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormon Church) but I do respect other religions. Since the Mormon religion disallows caffeine, please consider changing the name. It's kind of like marketing Google Bacon to Jewish or Muslim folks, or Google Brisket to Hindus.

Google Blitz would sound much better anyways.

It is an interesting point. I am Jewish, so I am not sure if I would be insulted if Google named an update, the Bacon update.

In any event, I just found this very interesting.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Previous story: Perseids Meteor Shower Coming: Google Got a Doodle For That



08/12/2009 01:44 pm

OK, this is just silly. First, the LDS (Mormon) Church does _not_ "disallow caffeine". It prohibits coffee and (black/green) tea. Some members and church leaders over the years have sought to extrapolate that to a general avoidance of all caffeinated beverages, but the LDS Church itself has made it clear that this is _not_ church policy or doctrine. There are lots of faithful Mormons who drink Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, etc. Second, I can't think of a single Mormon (I've been one for 42 years) who would somehow be offended by Google naming its new search engine "Caffeine". Most I know would be amused, if they cared at all. ..bruce..

Michael Archer

08/12/2009 01:46 pm

Blitz? Someone doesn't know their history! Some Brits might not appreciate being reminded of the darkest days of WW2 for that country - and Germans don't need to have the whole WW2 guilt thing shoved in their faces again. The real point is that the use of "caffeine" in the name of the new search engine is idiomatic - no one is suggesting you drink it to use it! P.S. I once lived next to a mormon couple who drank more high octane full-bore regular Coke than most people drink of coffee - guess they didn't read labels!


08/12/2009 02:02 pm

What next? The Catholic church up in arms over the term "link condom"?!?


08/12/2009 02:15 pm

I am LDS (Mormon) and couldn't care less about the name Caffeine. I assure you that the SEO (who specifically mentions that he is not LDS) does not speak for the vast majority of us. I'm not sure why he would care either.

Chat Man

08/12/2009 02:16 pm

Regarding 'Labels' "I used to accept it, when someone actually convinced me that it made sense. But, if *you're* that stuck on *your* own label, then maybe /you/ are the one with the problem."

Kent Larsen

08/12/2009 02:22 pm

I am Momon, and I can say with 100% certainty that the vast majority of Mormons will say that this sensitivity is silly. We don't care that Google named its upgrade "Caffeine." It is true that Mormons do not drink coffee. And many believe (although this is NOT an official doctrine) that abstaining from Caffeine is wise. But extending this concept to not naming things Caffeine is simply silly. Now I think I'll go have some "Freedom Fries" with my lunch.


08/12/2009 02:34 pm

I'd like to suggest that the title of this post be changed. The complainant is not Mormon, so there is no basis whatsoever to claim that "Mormon SEOs" dislike the name.


08/12/2009 02:47 pm

Thank you!


08/12/2009 03:18 pm

As a Mormon, and an avid SEOer since the dawn of SEO, I can safely say that I don't know of anyone who would possibly be offended by this. I have a hard time believing that anyone would really complain about this unless making a joke. As mentioned earlier, the belief is to not drink Coffee or black tea. Nowhere is caffeine even mentioned. I agree, the title of this post should be changed.

Ben C

08/12/2009 03:34 pm

Seriously, guys. Mormons haven't been institutionally persecuted since the 19th Century, so I'm going to say whoever's concerned was born between 1820 and 1850 about, give or take.


08/12/2009 03:45 pm

I appreciate that someone is trying to be sensitive about my faith. I find it kind of charming. However, caffeine for Mormons is not akin to non-kosher foods for those of the Jewish faith. We're simply asked to abstain from coffee and tea. Some have assumed that it's the caffeine in those substancs that we are being asked to avoid, but that has never been clearly explained. The "spirit" of that "law" is that we are supposed to eat nutritious foods and abstain from anything harmful. However, there is liberal freedom of choice in that matter. There are no Mormon watchdogs reporting on our eating habits. And I just enjoyed a Diet Mountain Dew and I'm fully aware of the caffeine content!


08/12/2009 03:47 pm

Mmmmm… Google Bacon…


08/12/2009 04:57 pm

As a Mormon, I am also prohibited from using Java or javascript, as well as any WINE-based software. I would definitely go for some Google-bacon, though.


08/12/2009 05:28 pm

This is fun to read. First, when I read so many negative, uniformed blogs criticizing something mormon, it's nice to see someone going out on a limb to be respectful of mormons, even though caffeine isn't banned in the LDS Church. Being respectful of religion (and those who assert no religion) is an especially important thing these days, not because humans these days are overly sensitive but because religion is a deeply person choice. It shows a lot of class to be respectful of other people's very personal choices. Thumbs up for good intentions, though the application is somewhat unnecessary. Bring on the Google Caffeine!


08/12/2009 05:33 pm

Cliff -- the original title was "Mormon SEOs Dislike 'Caffeine' Name For Google Update". Then it was changed to a question.


08/12/2009 05:51 pm

Decaf -- I agree that the sensitivity to others' beliefs, assuming it is genuine, is a welcome rarity in today's world. But, even when intending to defend, I think one must be extremely cautious not to misrepresent another's beliefs, especially in a public forum. The original title of this post is an excellent example of the potential unintended negative consequences of doing so. A minor, well-intended misrepresentation can quickly turn into "Oh, those Mormons are trying to force their views on everyone else again". The SEO could simply have asked, "Does this bother Mormons?"


08/12/2009 06:11 pm

Latter-day Saints follow what’s called the word of wisdom, which is based on a revelation that the church founder, Joseph Smith, had received from God on February 27, 1833. It means no coffee, tea, alcohol, and tobacco. It mentions that we should eat fruits, vegetables, and grains like wheat and rice. Meat is not forbidden, but we are told that we should eat it sparingly. It should be noted that at the time this revelation was given, nobody knew the harmful effects of tobacco or that a diet high in fat could lead to heart disease. I appreciate the sensitivity, but I think most Latter-day Saints would not have given the Google update’s name much thought.


08/12/2009 06:54 pm

I'm a member of the LDS church. We believe that our bodies are sacred gifts from God and we need to respect them and live healthily, but I think it's kind of silly to object to naming a technology service 'caffeine.' It doesn't really sound aesthetically pleasing like a good product name, but that would be my only objection to it.


08/12/2009 09:50 pm

As a life-long member of the LDS Church, I'm grateful, if amused, by this suggestion. We do have a code of health, that bars alcohol, tobacco, and coffee/tea and espouses the very infrequent use of meat. We also are counseled to follow good health practices -- and good sense -- generally. . Regarding caffeinated drinks, here's the closest to an official statement that we have: . "With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided."


08/13/2009 05:03 am

Common, give the guy a break at least he's trying to improve interpersonal relations and trying the best to not offend anyone or any organisation. Just something to think about I know that yoou won't find caffeinated sodas at the MTC and some missions don't allow you as well. How do you explain that one.


08/13/2009 03:10 pm

Another Mormon here mildly bemused at the discussion. I appreciate the civil tone and the thoughtfulness of the original question. Like many LDS members we believe many of our beliefs are left for us to interpret and apply as our conscious dictates. My family avoids caffeine but it's not banned from the house. I enjoy a Dr. Pepper from time to time and since I rarely drink it, it has a stimulating effect. I can't sleep at all if I have it or any caffeinated drink after about 3 PM. But I if want to stay awake all night it works great for me. For those who practice moderation a little goes a long ways in a body that does not live off caffeine. I am always a little amused at coworkers who act as if death is near if they don't get their morning fix. Thanks for the interesting read!


08/13/2009 04:41 pm

Just one more Mormon here, with another perspective. We can seem a little odd to people... the caffeine thing is just an extension of our desire to avoid all addictions. However, as has been amply stated here, we have no "sacred" perspective concerning caffeine as the Jewish people have toward certain animals (and by extension, meats). As Mormons, we also strive to avoid being "offended" by simple things like this. Google can name their product however they like. I have a page for additional questions on mormonism at feel free to hop over if you have some unanswered questions you want to ask.


08/14/2009 06:49 pm

This is funny more than anything. Among the rest of the commenters, im also an LDS member. I never thought I would see a post with SEO, googles and mormons mixed up together. I personally don't find this offensive at all and im sure it's not an attack at mormons so I don't think anybody should take any offense to it with that name.


08/20/2009 04:55 am

Ah Caffeine is just so refreshing! The name as well the fame ;) Atleast its not de-caff.. As long as the SERPS hold good, give me more of it.. the caffeine I mean :D Overall, I for one, like the caffeine update!

anthony carpenter

11/30/2010 12:55 pm

i am a mormon and proud too be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They have saved my life. I used too take drugs but they turned my life aroound. I became a Christian. Thank you

blog comments powered by Disqus