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Womb-based SEO

May 08, 2007

Here's a sign of the times. Expectant parents are beginning to google prospective baby names to ensure that their kids won't face too much competition in securing a high search rank. The Wall Street Journal reports on one example of a couple using search engine optimization in picking a name:

When [Abigail] Wilson, now 32, was pregnant with her first child, she ran every baby name she and her husband, Justin, considered through Google to make sure her baby wouldn't be born unsearchable. Her top choice: Kohler, an old family name that had the key, rare distinction of being uncommon on the Web when paired with Wilson. "Justin and I wanted our son's name to be as special as he is," she explains.

Hmm. If SEOing babies tempts parents to name a child after a toilet manufacturer, I'm not sure it's such a great idea.


good one. I can't wait to have a child to name him 09F911029D74E35BD84156C5635688C0. sure no one else would ever come up with this. I guess friends will nickname him "zero-nine" though... just for the sake of brevity, you see.

Posted by: andrew at May 8, 2007 07:41 PM

Adolff Hilter [Smith] works well.

Posted by: Condo at May 8, 2007 11:14 PM

I always like the name American Standard. BTW, this Internet thing is really going to screw up the market for baby names books.

Posted by: MarcFarley at May 9, 2007 10:05 AM

Yup, common sense is going down the . . . . . . drain. Alan.

Posted by: alan at May 10, 2007 09:47 AM

Funny/scary/sign-of-the-times post, Nicholas...

Melissa Burdon just posted a response over at GrokDotCom. She's all for it (although I like to think that none of my colleagues would name a child Kohler... yikes!).

Personally, I'd look it up ahead of time once I got the news--but this level of baby naming obsession seems a bit nutty. Besides, I doubt SEO will be around as a craft once the kid grows up.

What will they have? 5th Dimensional Telepathic Virtual DNA Rendering? Who knows. All I know is that we were supposed to have jetpacks and colonies on Mars by now...

Psychologists say that "object permanence" is one of the first things we learn as humans. Unfortunately, it can take a lifetime to unlearn it.

Posted by: Robert Gorell at May 10, 2007 02:00 PM

Being easily located on web search engines could be more of a curse than a blessing. It makes it easier for people to correlate your online and offline existences without your help.

If your name is John Smith, you can selectively help people find information about you on the web by providing them with additional pointers (online handles, direct URLs etc.). If you name is Kohler Wilson, any page on the web containing your name in some context will be easily findable by anyone who knows your name. They will be able to correlate all the different contexts in which you appear online and offline.

I am not sure, but I think I would prefer to avoid that.

Posted by: Jesper at May 14, 2007 01:02 AM

There's only one little problem with this.... If there are 100 other women out there naming their kids Kohler Wilson, then it was all for naught.

Posted by: bex at May 15, 2007 02:04 PM

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