Its not Google, but searches for Jewish

With a bit of legal mishugas behind him, Web designer Alon Landau is up and running with his new Web site, dubbed

That's after the tiny Jewish-oriented search engine with a noodly-sounding name triggered a few power surges from Google Inc., the giant Mountain View-based Web search engine that it parodies.

Google's lawyers, it seems, were not amused. They e-mailed Landau earlier this year with a warning that indicated their displeasure with Koogle's look- and sound-alike site.

"They actually thought it was the Hebrew-Jewish version of Google," said Landau, an Israeli now living in Phoenix.

Landau, who created Koogle on a lark, said he opted to cooperate rather than exchange any legal blows with a site that reportedly facilitates 200 million searches a day.

"I didn't want to get into too much trouble with them," confessed Landau. "Obviously, I don't want to be sued for something fun I did."

In a negotiating process that was recently finalized, Landau said he changed the logo to look like Hebrew lettering, created new tabs and got approval for a printed disclaimer at the bottom of his Web page. The phrasing identifies Koogle as a parody that "is in no way affiliated with the fine folks at Google."

"They were pretty cool about it," Landau said. "They realized I'm not in any way, shape or form trying to bring them down."

The 32-year-old Landau said his resulting site is drawing 1,500 hits a day to some 1,200 links to all manners of Jewish, Israeli and Hebrew Web addresses.

Landau says his creation is a tool for the public and will also promote his work as a designer.

Koogle features an Oy Yey! Page designed by Rhoda Grossman, an artist from Mill Valley.

"It's a combination of fun and, of course, exposure, and a way for me hopefully to contribute to some of the craziness out on the Web," said Grossman.

"Besides, he said there was going to be a free T-shirt for me."