Word of the Day: Googleability

I’ve got Googleability!


googleability (goo.gul.uh.BIL.uh.tee) n. The ease with which
information about a person can be found on an Internet search engine,
particularly Google. Also: Googleability, googlability,
googleable adj.


Example Citations:
What’s your ‘googleability‘ quotient? No clue?
Well, then check it out right away because if the world’s premier search engine
can’t trace you in less than a second, then you are a certified also-ran; or so
parents of newborns in the US feel. News reports say that ‘googleability
is now a primary baby-naming requirement, which means that parents want names
for their children which will work well for web searches: an unusual name that
might figure among the first top 10 search results.
—"The name of the game,"
Hindustan Times, May 14, 2007


All the Googler needs is a name, and she’s off. It’s
worse if your name is unusual, as mine is. The difference in
Googleability between a person with the name ”Mary Smith” and a person
with my name makes me wonder whether Googleability might one day affect
how parents name their children. If Mary Smith had been named, instead,
Upanishad Smith, she’d be more Googleable. Of course, that’s not to guarantee
she’d do anything Googleworthy. But what will future conscientious parents
decide? Will Googleability or anonymity be the greater gift?
Steinbraker, "Paying a price for Googleability," The International
Herald Tribune
, December 5, 2006


Earliest Citation:
So, how far does cultural literacy go? Where does
Trivial Pursuit end and cultural literacy begin? Is there significant overlap?

The things that follow are probably "Googleable" (maybe not
"Matamoros"). How much does "Googleability" correlate with cultural
—Jerry Bauer, "Cultural
," alt.fan.cecil-adams, June 25, 2001


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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. metroplexual commented on Jun 11

    We gave our two daughters normal enough names but threw in a Latvian middle name to go with their somewhat common Irish/English last name. They have unique full names and are googleable as long as they use their full names. My oldest middle name is Aija ( pronounced I-ya). We figured a little ethnic tie and something to set them apart when there is another person with their first and last name like her 2nd cousin.

  2. mhm commented on Jun 11

    It is a good thing to be anonymous on the web. I use the internet for about 17 years (yes, before the WWW) and you can barely associate my name with my opinions, which changed over time.

    On the other hand I searched for a very charming girl I recently met. Well, to my surprise, from what she writes she is a complete idiot. So, thanks google for saving my time.

  3. Sprezzatura commented on Jun 11

    My name is unique enough that I am very Googleable. Hence the anonymous handle that I’ve adopted.

  4. John F commented on Jun 11

    When I saw this post, I could have sworn I had seen it before. I even looked back at some of your old posts. I guess that means you have “dejavu-ability” too.

    As for myself, I would prefer to be remembered for my own decisions and actions, not those of my parents. Now if I could only come up with something memorable to do…

  5. John F. commented on Jun 12

    Anonymity is the greater gift because it has greater option value: it is easier to become famous than anonymous, and the latter is critical for some people. Your long-lost college friend who is inexplicably non-Googleable may have chosen a profession which required some Soviet-style scrubbing of the Internet, and may still leave their families in danger.

    [No relation to the previous John F. or to any covert activities.]

  6. Greg0658 commented on Jun 12

    Yep – those false flag operations one must worry about

  7. icup commented on Jun 12

    goo…..(gul.uh.BIL.uh.tee) funny.

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