Part of my intention with this blog is to use it as a scratchpad so that some of the posts can be fleshed out into more substantial ideas. That’s why readers of this blog already saw much of the meat of today’s column on Baby Name Optimization in a post last week. The full column’s below and continues in the extended entry; it’s about twice the length of the original blog post, so if you read and liked the first one, this adds a bit more, especially in terms of tying it into marketing best practices. This column, as always, can also be found at MediaPost.
Baby Name Optimization
By David Berkowitz
Want proof that you can optimize anything? What about devising a
strategy to optimize search results around the name of your unborn
The idea came from a snippet on Boston.com sent in by loyal reader (and future wife) Cara Adelglass: “According to The Wall Street Journal, some 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.’
What’s the perfect baby shower present for a soon-to-be newborn who has
already been search-engine optimized? Buy the Web domain that matches
That’s sound strategizing. It has that echo of Jack Welch, who
insisted that General Electric should only be in businesses where it
could take first or second place in market share. By that line of
thought, Joe Smith is probably not your best bet unless you’re spending
millions on optimization, and celebrity names are out of the question
(alas, that rules out Brad Pitt Berkowitz as a potential name for my
You don’t want to stop just at the research phase, though. Below
are ten more tips for baby name optimization. Note that while this
column is tongue-in-cheek, these best practices can be applied to your
business. You’d want to research potential business and product names
for what listings come up in major search engines, and you’d often be
wise to apply many of the baby name optimization tactics that follow.
1) Write a press release the day your baby’s born with the baby’s
name in the headline, and optimize the entire release. As soon as the
little one takes its first breath, he or she can even appear in the
body of Google’s natural search results thanks to universal search.
2) Buy all potential domain name misspellings of your baby’s name.
If you’re blessed with ample foresight or come from an ages-old
tradition of arranged marriages, buy versions of the last name of any
potential suitor you have in mind. Redirect the names to your baby’s
main dot-com domain.
3) Film the birth and syndicate it to dozens of video sites. One of
those sites will have to be around by the time of your kid’s communion
or bar mitzvah, right? On your primary domain, optimize the video by
tagging every second of it so those clips are accessible to search
4) Blog as if you’re the baby. Then, when your kid is old enough to
blog, you can hand it over to your child, or you can go on blogging as
if you’re his or her therapist.
5) Tag your baby.
7) Googlebomb your baby’s domain around the phrase “world’s cutest
baby,” “future Nobel laureate,” or “Harvard class of 2025.” It reminds
me of an old joke, where a parent is asked how old her children are and
responds, “The doctor is three and the lawyer is two.” The scary thing:
some parent is reading this column right now and starting such a
8) Digg your baby.
9) Be sure to update meta tags every so often, as your kid’s prom
date would be horrified to see “spitting up” and “potty training” as
some of his or her most relevant keywords.
10) Every few years, change your child’s name to something new that
has less search competition. Though beware… this will bring an entirely
new meaning to the phrase “your baby’s in the sandbox.”
Of course, all of this is in your child’s best interests. When
admissions officers and employers search for your child’s name years
from now, they’ll find so many results ahead of those keg party
pictures on Facebook that the reputation management will have paid off.
Marketers often talk about their brands as their babies; here’s a
chance to treat your babies like your brands.