This week, I began working on what I like to think of as my graduate degree in internet studies: I started working as a full-time SEO specialist. Though I was confident about my new role when I explained what “SEO” stood for to my mom, I realize now that I have a long way to go in understanding the rigors and complexities of making one line of your content appear slightly higher on a Google search page.
Naturally, all things search-related have been the most relevant results in my brain as of late, and a Buzzfeed post brought me to the amusing, and absolutely necessary, world of SEOLOL. It chronicles many of the more unlikely searches that people have entered into the ubiquitous search engine, part schadenfreude-aggregator and part “psychological voyeurism”, as the site’s own FAQ puts it.
I think that it’s that psychological, and secretly social, aspect of SEO that excites me about my new job. It’s the study (and, yeah, exploitation a bit as well) of trends in human thought and interest and focus, tracking and recording its endless possibilities and creations. And, yeah, sometimes that’s going to involve poring over utterly disgusting, irrelevant, and ridiculous content from grainy celebrity sex tapes to (quoting SEOLOL) “Magic Spell[s] To Shut Someone Up.” But, I think that, over time, I’ll learn to love queries like Using Your Brain to Fight Evil, another blog entry that it’s forthright and sincere, something I never would’ve seen that resonates and ignites new search possibilities and meanings in my own mind.
I’m passing over into the business of trying to predict what the minds of millions of people hope to experience; during that process, I’ll do my best not to use my own mind for evil. I promise.