Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fickle finger of fate

A friend rang me up today to tell me two things, the first of which is that if you type "William Gallagher" into Google then I am something like four of the first ten results you get back.

This is suspiciously remarkable: I'm certain you've never stopped to count William Gallaghers in your life but I have and I've directly known or at least known-through-work, known-through-friends, six of us.

Some years ago I had a fair explosion of spam and in tracking down why I had that when everyone around me had nothing, I found my name and unfortunately email address on a Doctor Who user group. Some fella with absolutely no sense of humour was urging Who fans to flood my inbox with complaints over a crack I'd made. The fella's fellow Who fans seemingly are humour-aware so not one single one of them ever did email me. Actually, he never emailed me either, which you'd think might be a first step.

But since finding myself like that, I'm going to admit to you that I've kept an eye out. Plainly not so obsessively that I'd noticed my Google ranking, but enough that over the years I've read about a dozen more William Gallaghers ranging from firemen and congressmen to photographers and somebody who appears to have been extraordinarily cruel to either his ex-girlfriends or his pet cats. That was not the clearest website I've ever read. But I've informed the authorities just in case.

So really while the odds of anyone finding themselves on the first page of results from Google is reasonably small, I'd have bet money on mine being significantly less.

I am, therefore, preening. I accept it doesn't mean anything, I accept it's an accident of Google's search algorithms, but old friends have found me this way so it's a good and practical thing and, anyway, come on, I have a blog so you know I have an ego.

Oh, and the other thing my friend phoned to say was that it didn't matter where I appeared on Google, the link to my blog is completely empty.

Somehow I feel my faith in the general right order of things is restored.

Tomorrow, I'm going to type your name in and see what happens.


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