Companies, services and individuals are all aspiring to be on top of Google. Now some parents are doing the same. Wall Street Journal today runs a story on the phenomenon of checking babies names through Google.
According to the story web 2.0-parents now want to secure a searchable, top of the Google name for their expected babies. In Wall Street Journal Abigail Wilson tells the story of how she, when pregnant with her first child, ran every name-combination she and her husband considered for the baby through Google to make sure the child would not be born unsearchable.
Abigail Wilson herself had painfully discovered how she dropped out of the better half of the search results after she got married and changed her unique maiden name. When she applied for jobs she was questioned by the interviewers because they couldn’t find her publications in online searches. She wanted to make sure that her child would have a better on-line future, preferably a unique search proof name.
The story fascinated bloggers today.
Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 writes about it under the headline Google controls your identity. “It will be interesting to see whether pieces like the one in the Wall Street Journal will intensify the interest in Google identity management and in services and platforms writes for such management,” he notes.
At Buzzworthy Brian Chin writes on the connection between search results for babies names and results for brands and companies. He notes that some people hire Search Engine Optimizing firms to build their brand on-line and to get better search results. A commentator at Buzzworthy points out that the videogame Wii has an invented, global name – created so that anyone can relate to it in any language and Wii being unique on every search engine. That might be an idea for parents, to invent a unique name for your toddler.
Nicholas Carr at RoughType calls this story a sign of the times. However he also raises a warning: “Hmm. If SEOing babies tempts parents to name a child after a toilet manufacturer, I’m not sure it’s such a great idea.”
Lessons to learn? The obvious is the importance of keeping an unique identity on the vast Internet. Also, there may be tools to develop. What if an instant message service told you when someone did a search on your own name?
By John Furrier, Anders Bjers and Tina Magnergard Bjers
PS. Curious about the name of Abigail Wilsons baby? Her top choice was Kohler, an old family name that had the key, rare distinction of being uncommon on the Web when paired with Wilson.