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Anti-SEO: M.I.A.’s New Album Is Invisible To Google

Does having an un-Googleable name seriously hurt a projects chance for success?

Dan Gould
Dan Gould on May 18, 2010.

The name of M.I.A.’s new album, /\/\/\Y/\, uses a kind of netspeak typography, replacing most letters of the word Maya with forward and back slashes. Different, yes — but the twist is that the phrase “/\/\/\Y/\” does not bring up any obvious mention of M.I.A. in search engines (without adding several other search terms). Yahoo, the letter y, Generation Y all show up, but nothing on the singer, or the new album.

Carles at Hipster Runoff  wonders – does being un-Googleable kill chances for success in the modern world? And although the tone Carles takes is derisive, it’s surely food for thought about how people discover (and promote) music these days:

It’s so crazy how the internet impacts many of the marketing + design decisions of today’s artists and musicians. The drive for SEO, search engine optimization, is important for musicians to be able to differentiate their products, and make sure consumers can find their music+web presence without much noise.

…Artists can utilize a lot of fun tricks to make sure their bands + albums + songs are SEOed. Pick a band name that no one else has so that it will show up first in google (Grizzly Bear and Panda Bear seem to be actually competing against real bears for google hits). Pick an album name that is a made up word that no1 has ever even typed. Collaborate with artists who have a deeper history within google to get more ‘goog cred.’ Name a song after some phrase that will get you accidental google hits. Put a Jonas Brother in your music video so that the Google algorithm escalates your band’s importance according to ‘the system.’

Not sure how google works, but there are apparently ‘trained professionals’ who will help you ‘trick google’ into thinking ur site / brand is important. I guess it is important for businesses since so many consumers make random, under-informed decisions just because they ‘trust google.’

Hipster Runoff: “Did M.I.A. ‘eff up’ by giving her album an un-google-able name?”

Thinking...