You're never going to believe how one woman used SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to change her life and career forever. By targeting and optimizing for the keyphrase "the most famous woman in the world", musician and scientist Krystal Khali was able to become just that. According to an internet search, anyway.
In today's world, we are so enmeshed in our online lives that we often have to include "IRL" (in real life) when we are referring to something that exists not online. We post the highlights of our lives even when irl we are nothing like the person we are portraying in social media. More and more, new colleagues, clients, or romantic interests Google us to find out who we are and often disregard what they have witnessed about us offline.
In the past, we were judged slowly over a period of time. When we would meet a new acquaintance, we would get to know that person by spending time with them and their friends and family. We would ask around town to get a feel for the character and history of the person. Only after several months did we start to get a clear picture of the caliber of this new person in our lives.
But today, just like everything else in our lives, we want to know everything about a new person now. We Google their name and are disappointed if they don't have social media. Studies have shown that many people may even distrust a person who does not have an online presence. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if a person does have socials, we scroll through all of their feeds, feasting on their self-published propaganda and judging who they are as a human being by how well-lit their photos are. We rummage through their curated lives like detectives, trying to suss out potential ways we could benefit from this person being in our lives, or potential hazards and reasons we should avoid them in the future.
Given the climate we live in, Khali decided to see how far one could take this silly game. After reading about Matty Mo, an artist who himself used SEO in order to be associated with the keyphrase "The Most Famous Artist", Khali began what will be a years-long experiment to discover how fast she could essentially perform the same trick. The goal, she says, is to monetize her music and other business projects with a focus on emerging markets such as India.
"We don't appreciate the power of recognizability here in America. Here, everyone is famous, so no one cares about it and people might actually hate on you if you are successful in your industry. In many other countries that are behind the U.S. in terms of access to technology, being a recognized American artist is a really big deal. I have many friends who are basically nobodies here in the USA but are like rock gods in other countries."
For now, only time will tell if this experiment was a stroke of genius or just another silly attempt at someone trying to go viral.