I received a really nice email from a reader recently who thanked me for my positive portrayal of Surrey. The note helped me recall something I read a few weeks ago I thought this would be perfect opportunity to write a post of this nature.
I was enjoying lunch at the cafe across the street and I decided to peruse some of the free daily newspapers Vancouver has to offer. A sub-headline in the Vancouver Courier caught my attention as it stated that more people love “Hitler” than “Surrey”. Completely flabbergasted I read the article (which was probably the intention with a title like that) and found that it was simply a recap of the author’s experience Googling various things. His twist was typing in “I love…” and filling in the rest with local city names and the names of popular (and infamous) people.
“I love my mother” nets a touching 129,000, though it pales before the 1,020,000 entries for “I love myself.” When the search is revised to exclude singer Bif Naked, who penned “I Love Myself Today,” the latter number drops to a self-loathing 223. [Vancouver Courier]
Here’s what the author of the article did (in case you’re unfamiliar with the way Google works). If you type words into the search field and include quotation marks, Google will search that exact phrase or word instead of simply finding sites that contain those parameters.
It appears that the research was correct, with “I Love Surrey” turning up 226 results (displayed on the top right of the screen) and “I Love Hitler” with 7,550 (according to my count) – as appalling as that might be.
Now this post isn’t about silly articles in newspapers, nor is it about making any sort of political or sociological statement about the things we love to write about. It may not even particularly be about smashing down stereotypes about my hometown, which I so frequently love to do. Quite frankly, this is to add to the “I love Surrey” list on Google and hopefully (with the magic of some SEO) bump this up to a top result for that search. Although my motives are completely selfish in the web realm I think it’s not all horrible since it is in fact true… I do love Surrey.
Update: 25 minutes after this post was published it became the #2 Google result for an “I love Surrey” search.