Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Saturday, May 31, 2008

New 'favicon' Icon for Google - and what is Favicon anyway?

New Google Icon
I think I need to get out more !

Yesterday I noticed that Google has gone and got itself a new 'favicon' icon, a rather stylish blue 'g' rather than a Capital 'G' in a white box.

By now I'm sure half of my readers will have switched off and the other half will have decided I've gone bonkers. For those of you left, a quick side explanation about favicon's ....

Favicon (short for Favourite Icon) was pioneered by Internet Explorer 5 and for once this proprietary Microsoft extension has now become common across most other web browsers.

If you define a simple 16 by 16 Windows icon (or logo) for your own website, name it favicon.ico, and then install it on the root directory of your website, when someone bookmarks your website your icon then appears alongside the browser bookmark to remind a visitor about your site, as your link in their favourites will then stand out.

Firefox then extended the use of favicon by displaying the website icon in the browser address bar and on the tab window so it's instantly visible what website you are looking at, and now IE7 has copied this design feature as well.

I've had it on my "to-do" list for some time to get around to defining my own website favicon, but somehow I've still not quite managed to do so. You need a graphics program that will output Icon format files such as Paint Shop Pro or Icon Forge, or there's a simple online favicon editor over at and a favicon generator on that takes a .GIF or .BMP picture and converts it to .ICO format.

The picture above shows some of the open tabs from my current Firefox session; the orange B is Blogger, the blue G in a green box is the original Google icon, next to it is ebay and on the row below is AngloInfo, a website which doesn't have a favicon setup (so shows the default white box) and then three of the new curly 'g' google icons.

It appears that Google's not yet rolled the new icon around all of its websites, and have both been changed as has Google Analytics and Google Maps, but Google Adwords is still the old fashioned square-box G icon.

And I've beaten the Googling Google blog to this news. Like I said, I need to get out more ...

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