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From Here To Singularity

"The time from here to Singularity depends sensitively on the particulars of what we humans do during the next decade (and even the next few years)."

Prenatal baby name search engine optimization

If you are an online presence, having a high search ranking is a rather good thing. If you don’t show up at the top of the list, the chances you will be visited by a someone at a search declines logarithmically, which cuts you out of the running for whatever they are searching for before you even get your goods on the table.

Well, no one isn’t online any more: we are all ‘online presences’. So, the logical conclusion would be that search engine optimizing isn’t just for web sites selling crap: if you want junior to have that one-up on the competition, the extra boost that gets them the job/the promotion/the corner office, you need to get working with engine optimizing him or her.

And, given that domains, the fundamental currency of searches, are in limited supply, the sooner you start your search engine optimizing, the better. You want to snap up a good, high ranked domain before it’s gone, which means you need to be flexible in what you are willing to use – perhaps that name you thought up for your online store or blog just doesn’t seem to peak the interest of google/yahoo/whoever’s algorithms. So you change your branding to fit the high value domain name that you can get.

And this is best done in the earliest stages of branding your ‘online presence’, so, if necessary, you can throw out all you previous branding work, and invent an entirely new brand that fits the domain you can find. Perhaps “” is taken, or “” ranks higher in the searches? You would have to throw out all the glossy literature you created for your “” website, if you didn’t figure that out first.

So, while all the options are still on the table, and junior is still just a tadpole and a bit of morning sickness, why not search engine optimize their name before they are even born? The Boston Globe reports:

According to The Wall Street Journal, some expectant parents “are beginning to Google prospective baby names to ensure that their kids wont face too much competition in securing a high search rank.” Whats the perfect baby shower present for a soon-to-be newborn who has already been search-engine optimized? Buy the Web domain that matches their name.

This is like giving one’s child a name starting in “A” in the hopes that they will be seated in the front row in kindergarten.

Well, actually, it’s a bit more like naming your child starting with an “A” in the hopes that they will be seated in the front row in college, or at the board meetings. It’s pointless, apart from the cuteness factor, to brag about around the water cooler.

For a start, there’s absolutely no reason to presume that a name that ranks high on search engines today is going to rank high in a couple of months, let alone the decades it will take before the kid actually cares.

And, google wasn’t google ten years ago, to assume that tomorrow’s google will work like today’s google is a fool’s errand. Even domains can’t last forever – at some point we have to find a better way to store informaiton. Domains will be come as quaint as an arpanet email address.

Still, this is one of those little things that is happening all around us, and becoming part of the fixture so fast that we don’t even notice it happening. And sure, what people are trying to might be rather pointless at the moment, but their fundamental reasoning is sound, and the underlying issue at hand is pretty profound.

Everyone of us is being affected by searches performed on our online presence, and to a greater or lesser extent, we would all benefit from gaming this system to our advantage. This is kind of crazy – it is exactly like naming one’s child starting with an A so that they go to the front of the class. Only, the class includes me and you and eventually everyone else.

Baby name search optimization – The Boston Globe

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