A Google-Wrinkle in the Name Game

Here’s a new twist to our ongoing discussion of child-naming: The Wall Street Journal reports that new parents may be choosing more “unique” names for their children in the interest of making them more prominent in Google searches. While a name like “Jason Smith” is easily swallowed up in the search-engine depths, a first name like “Kohler” or “Stella” is more likely to land your kid on the front search page.

It’s true that “Google-ability” can be valuable in everything from dating to job hunting to marketing your brand or product. But, just as women with “distinctively black” names wound up just as well off as women with more traditional names, will a “Kohler” really have much of an advantage (beyond working in a kitchen-and-bath store, of course) over a “Jason”? If so, then we’re going to see a revolution in the power of Google to influence a life. Either way, it should be interesting to see what names tech-savvy parents come up with over the next decade or so.

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  1. egretman says:

    The egretman is not worried. His chicks are unplugged. Incongnito. Un-chipped. Unwired in every sense of the word.

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  2. egretman says:

    The egretman is not worried. His chicks are unplugged. Incongnito. Un-chipped. Unwired in every sense of the word.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. toner says:

    Even better than google is the baby name wizard.
    http://babynamewizard.com/namevoyager/lnv0105.html

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  4. toner says:

    Even better than google is the baby name wizard.
    http://babynamewizard.com/namevoyager/lnv0105.html

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  5. hunterwalk says:

    I’ve got a unique name (Hunter Walk) but not so hot when it comes to search engines given that it’s comprised of two common words. Thus I advertise against my name as a query in order to ensure folks can find me.

    I’ve also talked with parents who think this Google phenomena is a perfect reason to select an amazingly nondescript Google name so their kid won’t be at the top of the rankings. My guess is there are three strategies here:
    a) generic name: John Smith
    b) famous name (since you’ll never have more Google juice than a celeb): Cameron Diaz
    c) strange name comprised of actual words: Brick House

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  6. hunterwalk says:

    I’ve got a unique name (Hunter Walk) but not so hot when it comes to search engines given that it’s comprised of two common words. Thus I advertise against my name as a query in order to ensure folks can find me.

    I’ve also talked with parents who think this Google phenomena is a perfect reason to select an amazingly nondescript Google name so their kid won’t be at the top of the rankings. My guess is there are three strategies here:
    a) generic name: John Smith
    b) famous name (since you’ll never have more Google juice than a celeb): Cameron Diaz
    c) strange name comprised of actual words: Brick House

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  7. ep702 says:

    Isn’t unique identification what last names are for? I have a traditional first name, a dictionary word as the middle name and my unique German family name last. That makes me no. 1 in Google searches anytime. If anything I’d prefer to pick a classic firstname and if my last name was Smith maybe change it to something awesome and unique…

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  8. ep702 says:

    Isn’t unique identification what last names are for? I have a traditional first name, a dictionary word as the middle name and my unique German family name last. That makes me no. 1 in Google searches anytime. If anything I’d prefer to pick a classic firstname and if my last name was Smith maybe change it to something awesome and unique…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0