Before I get to the heart of the post, my “manual Twitter update” is: I’m sitting on my couch. More fun lifeblogging later, mkay?
I have no idea what my inspiration here was, but I decided it’d be interesting (kinda) to find the most common first names (in the US) and see the results when Googled. I know that Google is supposed to be the end-all be-all definitive answer to all things, but as you’ll see fairly quickly, the list doesn’t really reflect “the real world” nearly as much as you might expect.
- JAMES: The band, James.
- Ignoring Google Music, the result is “James Project” – an open-source mail server
- The first “person” in the list is James I of England
- JOHN: Gospel of John. John Kerry is the first name in the list
- ROBERT: Need you ask? It’s Mr. Scoble (ahead of De Niro, Redford, etc)!
- MICHAEL: Michaels Arts & Crafts Store (that’s some good SEO). Michael Jackson is first, with Arrington second, then Moore third. My friend Michael Gartenberg appears on the 6th page, but MJ himself didn’t appear in the first 10 pages! Says something about where sports, bloggers, technology & Google go together, eh?
- WILLIAM: Wait for it… Actually, I can’t bear to say it. Go ahead, see for yourself. No comment.
- DAVID: Interestingly it references the former King, with a David Pescovitz nudging in just ahead of Ziggy Stardust. No, I won’t explain that, or any other pop culture references from this point forward.
- RICHARD: Another king, Richard I of England, but he’s followed by another top blogger, Richard MacManus, who is only a few spots ahead of Richard Simmons.
- CHARLES: Charles Schwab has SEO’d themselves above King Charles. Apparently Princes do not fare as well, as Prince Charles can’t beat out “The Fishbowl: Charles Miller’s Weblog“
- JOSEPH: Another Biblical reference (Hebrew before Saint), and it’s not until the bottom of the first page until I found professor Jospeh Stiglitz.
- THOMAS: Didn’t know about this one before, the THOMAS online Library of Commerce. Good ol’ Thomas Hawk is the first name on the list (and another blogger – I think I smell a trend!).
- CHRISTOPHER: The first link is about Chrisopher Columbus’ ships, and the first name is non-blogger Chris Walken. If I switch the term to just ‘CHRIS’ then Pirillo’s blog is on top.
- DANIEL: First up is a prophet, and new James Bond Daniel Craig is the first written name, but Darren Scocco’s blog is extremely well SEO’d since his name isn’t even in the title!
- PAUL: Religion beats blogger in this case, as the prophet is first, McCartney second, and Paul Stamatiou’s blog wins the bronze.
- MARK: Mark Pilgrim’s linkblog is up on top, which surprised me as I figured the BlogMaverick would be higher up there (he’s also stuck behind a prophet, which clearly doesn’t bode well).
- DONALD: Even before I clicked the button, I was pretty sure I’d find The Donald as the first result.
- GEORGE: Quite the popular name in Googling, with the fun Where’s George site ranked above our first president (who is thankfully ranked above our current one). Scroll down a little and you’ll see Clooney beats out Lucas on IMDB – I guess that’s not ranked by income, eh?
- KENNETH: Got Shoes? More interesting is the second result, a spa in Columbus, Ohio.
- STEVEN: Again, a blogger (Steven Berlin Johnson) beats out directors Spielberg and Soderbergh. I guess I figured Jobs for #1, but he’s barely on the first page.
- EDWARD: Naperville’s (Illinois) own somehow managed to eke out the top position above a quite famous King, and Edward Hopper is the first ‘name’ on the page.
- BRIAN: ABC has SEO’d some TV show into the first slot, ahead of extremely popular blogger Brian Clark.
- RONALD: My favorite result so far, as it juxtaposes Ronald McDonald and Ronald Reagan a few times over. That’s just plain fun!
- ANTHONY: The men’s products company is first (I use two of their scrubs, love em – ain’t that just so metrosexual of me?), and we have no bloggers whatsoever in the first 10 (I smell opportunity). Tony Robbins and Marc Anthony both place ahead of the first full Anthony, Sir Hopkins.
- KEVIN: CNN correspondant Kevin Sites has wedged himself in at #1. Have no fear, K-Fed is only a few links below.
- JASON: The second project on our list, the JASON project, is first up. Entrepreneur-turned corporate America-turned VC-turned fatblogger Jason Calacanis is in the top 5, just below the Greek myth entry at Wikipedia.
- MATTHEW: I kept repeating in my head “Don’t be Perry, Don’t be Perry!” as I hit the search button. Biblical reference comes in first, with actor Matthew McConaughey a few steps behind.
- JEREMY: Damn that Zawodny!!! I’m up in the first 5 pages, but it seems as if people named Jeremy just like to get their blogging on…
- MARY: Yup, it’s the Biblical one first (she dominates most of the page actually). Then the first real name we get to is Mary J Blige.
- PATRICIA: A resort chain in Myrtle Beach is the first listing here, then we get famous (?) children’s book author Patricia Polacco’s Web site next.
- LINDA: And there we have it, our first result wherein our first listing is adult content. Congratulations, Linda Tran, you are our winner. Incidentally, three other Lindas on the first page are also adult-oriented. So if there are any Lindas reading this who are not working in the porn industry, maybe you can start a blog soon?
- BARBARA: It looks like Google considers Barbara Nitke’s “Sexuality Project” the most prominent Barbara, with Ms. Streisand (my mom’s lookalike you know) in second place.
- ELIZABETH: Let’s see, we have Movie Reference, Queen, Queen, Queen, Queen, Queen, and Movie Reference.
- JENNIFER: J. Lo may not be as popular in the gossip rags anymore, but she’s still all the rage on Google.
- MARIA: I was genuinely surprised to see WWE “superstar” Maria first and tennis player Sharapova second. That’s two sports people (well, 1.5?) on top here.
- SUSAN: Some astrologist is on top, so I’ll do my share to try to help get blogger Susan Mernit ranked higher. If you don’t read it already, I humbly suggest you subscribe to Susan’s great blog right away!
- MARGARET: CHO. IS. FIRST.
- DOROTHY: They’ve got her. And her little dog too.
- LISA: I think this was the first time two different acronyms had the top two spots. Lisa Simpson is the first ‘name’ on the page, and a Lisa McPherson is the first ‘real name’ later on.
- NANCY: I feel like we’re getting a little, I don’ t know, desperate at this point. The “comic” strip is the first entry, followed by Nancy Sinatra and Nancy Reagan.
- KAREN: This little project has just taught me something new. Did you know there was a tribe of people called the Karen people (I’ll bet ya didn’t)? I didn’t. I feel a little bad too, as there are apparently 14 million of them! We’ve also found another blogger (it’s been a while!), Karen Schneider, the Free Range Librarian.
- BETTY: Hm… Pop band I’ve never heard of, color for Hair Down There, some cookbooks, ugliness, … ah, there we go… “Stale Betty: Voted Most Likely to Wear Granny Panties“
- HELEN: Helen, Sweetheart of the Internet is probably a minor misnomer, since it seems that Helen of Troy is the sweetheart entry here.
- SANDRA: Sandra Bullock is our first named entry, but can’t beat the geeks’ SiSoftware. I wonder if she’s that high in some part due to the movie The Net?
- DONNA: Congratulations to Donna
Nammer, the first female blogger to pwn her first name on Google. I wonder if she knows Scoble?
- CAROL: And back we go to corporate stuff. In fact, the name Carol seems so open on Google that Carole King makes the first page (although that could be due to typos as well).
- RUTH: Mmm, steak house. Actually, no full-name Ruths made the first page of results at all, unless you count Babe Ruth that is.
- SHARON: Utterly dominated by Ariel Sharon, Sharon Stone, and a bunch of small US towns named Sharon.
- MICHELLE: Journalist Michelle Malkin is on top. Have no fear boys, there’s nudity only one link away.
- LAURA: Interestingly, more right-wing women are at the top here, with Laura Ingraham and Laura Bush just behind the movie of the same name.
- SARAH: Back to the Bible we go, but the Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan is in second place.
- KIMBERLY: Get your tissues, all your tissues! The only actual name on the page is a Kimberley who blogs at Develsaa.com.
- DEBORAH: A hospital in New Jersey (what exit?) ranks first, then back to the Bible, then Ms. Electric Youth herself,
There you have it, the Top 50 Google results for the Top 50 First Names. What did we learn (remembering that Google ranks primarily based on links)?
- Bloggers beat actors.
- Musicians beat actors.
- Prophets beat bloggers.
- Kings of England beat everyone other than Scoble.
- Women often link to men.
- Women sometimes link to women.
- Men often link to men.
- Men sometimes link to women.
- Men often link to pornography.
- William Hung’s 15 minutes have last way too long.
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I am glad you picked up my blog here, but Darren Rowse is not the author of it 🙂 although I am a fan of Problogger.net!
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Interestingly, from my desk here in the UK, the links don’t – in some cases – represent the descriptions exactly. For example, Charles I comes before Charles Schwab, but we don’t really know who he is over here.
Daniel – sorry about that, it was a little late when I was working on it, and I got a little muddled!!! Fixed now.
Lewis – interesting observation there. I do know that Google always has a few people seeing slightly different results for testing purposes, so I wonder how much that impacts this…
Excluding one-name people like Madonna, I think the most dominant first name search results belong to Jenna.
I’m somewhat bitter that with as unique a last name as I have, I’m not first in Google. That’s OK, my family will probably last longer than the business named after me… then we’ll (if not I) take our rightful spot atop Google! 😉
Interesting an entertaining post Jeremy. Google weights bloggers very high in general. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing yet.
Logging in and then searching for your name and the names of people you know is also going to change your ego search results. Personalization on your name would seem like it would be the first thing Google’d do, but they didn’t do it that way. Maybe because they can’t always tell which Steve Smith or Jesse James you are… Not sure though.
For what it’s worth, Mr. Jobs is the first result for ‘Steve,’ even if he isn’t for Steven. Stephen is interesting too — number one is an online learning newsletter (“Stephen’s Web”), then Hawking, King and Colbert. Neat mix.
To Whom it May Concern:
I have been trying to learn how to google a person. Could you please forward me to a website that would give me instructions on how to google a person. I have not been able to find information on the google web site itself.
Any help you could give me would be appreciated.
Well, my last name isn’t actually Nammer, but I’m shocked to find myself at the top of the Donna heap. I lagged behind Donna Karan for so long that I actually stopped caring. How foolish that was, because I won in the end, even though it took an eternity in Internet time. I now know that Internet fame, however fleeting, comes when you least expect it, and even if you don’t know Scoble. Crazy!
My good friend Donna isn’t the only owner of her name at the top of the Google ranking. I’m not sure which of us was first. I’m pretty sure I’ve been up there since about 2001.