Parents Obsessed With Google Baby Names

    May 9, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Have we really reached a point where people are going to worry about how and where their progeny’s names appear in Google’s search results?

Parents Obsessed With Google Baby Names
Parents Obsessed With Google Baby Names

Parental competitiveness has always been with a lot of people. Whether they are vicariously living through their children’s accomplishments, or using the kids as a way of boosting Mom and Dad’s egos, there is always someone whose science whiz daughter or football hero son figures in the parent’s conversations.

Google may be becoming part of that conversation, if the Wall Street Journal can be believed. Their story about being a nobody without a name that Googles well has been bouncing from blog to blog; since writer Kevin Delaney used Google as a verb, his story might be bouncing around Google Legal. Google hates anything that dilutes their brand name in a generic fashion.

A couple focused in the article subjected their unborn offspring’s potential names to lots of searches as they tried to find something distinctive. One possibility, Kohler, was an old family name. It also happens to be the brand name for a line of plumbing items like faucets and toilets.

Complain as Google might about being tossed into the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a transitive verb, the habit of “Googling” someone on the search engine for information about them has become commonplace. Employers check out applicants, singles look up their dates, and people even search for themselves to see what appears.

Pre-emptive searching as illustrated by the Journal’s story is a curiosity today. It seems obsessive and just a little bit disturbing. But the potential impact of choosing a baby’s name that oh by the way has a lot of negative associations in Google’s index outweighs the oddity factor.

“The power of Google is more subtle, and the effect is to increase diversity, rather than diminish it,” Valleywag said of optimizing a newborn’s search potential. The John Smiths out there might agree with the assessment.