So yesterday I was curious as to whether there’d been an update on the mysterious cat paintings that have been appearing around Stourbridge. I therefore Googled ‘graffit cats stourbridge’, and lo and behold, this blog was on the second page of results. That’s kinda cool, considering Google is the source of all knowledge, but it brought out my narcissistic tendencies – what would I have to do to get on the first page of results?
My initial ideas were unworkable – I can’t come second in a UK general election and I refuse to change my name to Justin Bieber (seriously, who is Justin Bieber? He keeps trending on Twitter, but that’s the only reason I’ve heard of him; I’m assuming he’s not the president of Iran). As a control, I searched for something fairly obvious – ‘matthew hyde’ got me to the second page of results again; ‘geeks shall inherit the earth’ and ‘matthew_hyde’ got me to the first page, but as they’re the blog title and my user name, it’s pretty much cheating. The trick is how to get there using random search terms.
Now, if the graffiti cats story narrows things down, maybe something in the same blog entry as that would help. ‘redback spiders wolverhampton’ got me to page three, so that gave me the idea of merging the two stories – success! ‘Redback spiders stourbridge’ not only got me to the first page but I was also fourth result. Still getting pwned by the Express and Star though, which made things personal.
A more rational person would have shrugged and given up at this point – the Express and Star is my local newspaper, logic suggests that I’m not going to get higher in the Google rankings than they are, nor should I. That, however, is not the point. The point is, I want to see my page at the top of a Google search page, preferably before I resort to making up words and satisfying my ego through deceit and self-delusion.
So what does my blog have that local media doesn’t? Well, an obsession with geekery in all its forms, for one…
‘redback spiders stourbridge transformers’ got me to number one. In your face, big media!
But what happens if I remove a word? ‘Stourbridge’ is the one that localises things the most, so out it goes…
Well, that sucks. Page four. Too many people are interested in redback spiders, probably because they can kill you (which, as they can’t type, is probably the reason they’re so high on the results table). ‘stourbridge transformers’ fares even worse, as my area still has an industrial base. ‘ironhide stourbridge’ got me back to page one, just by naming the Transformers character I’m nicknamed for.
At this point the mists begin to clear. This is just an insane excuse for an ego boost, a meaningless attempt to rig Google’s results to see my name at the top of a page. Is this what a celebrity driven culture does to us? Is this the democratisation of information and content in action?
I ponder this as I start making up words. ‘farselbug’ didn’t bring up any relevant results. I’m a happy man.