Tuesday, June 10, 2014

SEO And Cousin Bait—Why the Obsession?

It may seem as if I’ve been strangely preoccupied, lately, with posts about finding distant cousins. In case that may be the thought that’s occurred to you, let me pause and say a little something in my defense: “SEO.”

No, I am not trying to shout in a foreign language. Those caps represent initials for the term, “Search Engine Optimization.”

While SEO is the domain of those highly skilled marketers who are so savvy they can tell you the very flavor of the breakfast bar you are about to bite into, don’t discount it in your lowly pursuit of locating distant relatives.

If it weren’t for search engines like Google or Bing or even Dogpile, there would be no optimization. Search Engine Optimization is all about outsmarting the smart ones at those search engines—trying to find an Internet marketing strategy that puts the pull of Google (or the other search engines) to your website’s advantage.

Think of it this way: if you are a blogger, and you know certain words you placed in the very first paragraph of your post for this morning would pull in thousands of pairs of eyes, all attached to genealogy researchers looking for exactly what you had to talk about today, wouldn’t you be sure to enter those words in your post?

I have to trust that, just as that system works for marketers, it can work for me, chipping away at my humble pursuit of ancestors and their corollary lines. Part detective looking for the whodunit clues, part archaeologist gently brushing away dust particles from fragile artifacts, I’m pressing backward in my quest to find the past—my past. When I do stumble upon a find—a new Kelly family, for instance—I want to sprinkle my prose with those family names in every permutation.

One never knows when someone is searching for that very same term.

So search away, great-grandchild of the long-gone Thomas Kelly. Hopefully, someday, a search engine will lead you to my blogging doorstep, and I’ll welcome you in for a chat.


  1. If your obsession gets out of hand, you will be hiring a private detective!

    I know what SEO is... I just don't know to "mess with it" in Blogger!

    1. I like to think that if the obsession gets out of hand, I will be the detective ;)


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