Baby Names In The Digital Age

Does your baby name pass the Google test? Many parents google their baby’s potential baby name to find out who else has had that name and what that means for their child. Find out how to find a google friendly baby name and hear other parents weigh in on the importance of the internet when finding a baby name.

Pregnant Mom on laptop

Jennifer Burg, founder of The Suburban Mom, loved one particular name for her baby girl -- until she googled it. "One of my all time favorite names that I really wanted to name our daughter was Jenna," she said. "Because of a certain adult star, my husband refused. Luckily, there was nothing to find about the name we chose."

Burg is not alone, Holly, founder of NewMommyOasis.com is debating a baby name she googled."We do google the names before we settle on any. In fact, one of our favorite boys names is up for debate because when we googled it every person listed is a criminal of some sort. I'm not sure we will choose that name."

Tips on finding a google-friendly name

Many parents search online for the meaning of baby's first name, so go ahead and type in baby's full name – both with and without middle names -- and see what results you find. If you don't like what you see, try these tips for finding a google-friendly name:

  • Traditional names: Traditional or family names are less likely to pull up unsavory google search results, compared to trendy baby names.
  • Popular names: If you have a common last name, like Smith or Jones, choosing a popular first name for your child will more than likely pull up many results -- and the odds of all of them being bad is low.
  • Unique spellings: If you love a certain name, like Jenna, but don't love the results of your google search, try switching up the spelling or altering the name slightly, such as Genna or Gemma.
  • Reverse the first name and middle name: You can switch up your child's name, and they can go by their middle name if they so choose in the future.

You can also buy your child's domain name, for example www.yourchildsname.com,  to establish their own online identity. "[My sister] has her own domain name with her own personal portfolio in hopes that her website will be the first search result when people google her name, rather than this other persons party-style facebook pictures and possibly negative stories," said Nicole Crimaldi, founder of MsCareerGirl.com.

How important is a google-friendly baby name?

"While prospective parents should do research on their potential baby names (i.e. you should know what language it came from and the basic meaning), what they find should be added into the decision making process, not the deciding factor," said Jodi Smith, of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. "Unless there is a universal negative connotation -- for example, the same name as a mass murderer -- parents should take a long-term approach. This child will have this name for 8 decades, things change."

What do parents think?

Here what some parents say about searching for their potential baby name online: 

-Because our name was a very old family name, I knew that was what I really wanted to name him regardless of whether or not someone else was out there. But luckily the name is unusual enough that there wasn't another one at the time. – Allison Manley

-I didn't Google their names (twins) but I did look them up for their meaning on-line. I learned this lesson after I wanted to name my first daughter Jezebel and found out it meant "a wicked, shameless woman" –Chelsea from Breezymama.com

-I did not google either Cade or Raegan's name before choosing them. The results would probably not have changed our mind. However, we didn't imagine we would hear the name Cade so much and we had no idea there was a Raegan in Exorcist or whatever that horror movie is!!! -Heather Fox

-No I didn't' google my boys names, but I did look to see if they were popular/trendy and their origin. When they passed that test we used them. For our daughter, my husband chose the name long ago. Even though it's common, we still used it. –Sunshine Torczon

-Did not google. Both boys' names are pretty simple. Doubt the results would change my mind unless there was some really surprising info there. – David Habermehl

-I found out after the fact that my first daughter's name is the name of a porn star, except the middle and first name is reversed for the actress). Oops! –M.D.

Want to read more about choosing your baby's name?

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