Seek and Meg shall find.
I'm not sure how to pinpoint exactly when this talent emerged, but if someone needs to Find Something on the Internet that No One Else Can Find, I am the search equivalent of the Ghostbusters.
Whether it's a pair of earrings to go with a particular formal gown, the middle name of someone's high-school crush, a diaper bag that looks too classy to carry diapers, or the one photo of a golden lab puppy guaranteed to soothe the savage co-worker... well, I'm your girl.
Part of it stems from being dropped headfirst into SEO in the early-to-mid-2000s, when the only people who really knew what was going on told NO ONE until they were very rich, and the people who had 10% of a clue were writing "For Dummies" books to sell before Google changed their algorithm again... and again... and again (or as my boss called it, Doomsday).
I had to figure out what the hell a keyword was, why I should care, and how people might be (unknowingly) using them to get to the information they wanted... and then how to get them to the information I wanted them to get.
Instead of becoming an SEO savant, I just got really good at finding things for myself... and for anyone else who needed a thing.
"Wait, why would you use that word?"
"That's how the brand you want describes that kind of merchandise."
"So I'll get the brand I want and the thing I want if you search on that keyword?"
"Well, it's more about the combination of words. Something about the the size or color, or maybe what you use it for. Perhaps something about the fabric or texture that would be in the description. Or the year it came on the market. Maybe a celebrity's name who wore it first."
"This is getting a little involved."
"No, it's getting innnnnnnnteresting."
But only to me.
Some of my greatest triumphs:
- Albert Einstein's wedding vows, for a particularly nerdy wedding speech
- A specific and rare Fruit of the Loom brief style that my runner friend said would prevent his "obvious knobwobble" in a televised marathon
- Several first editions of books with very strange titles so my friend could have an unsettling library shelf in his interviewing office
- A discontinued fragrance that someone's grandmother wore, to scent a quilt for their mother
- A travel mug shaped like a banana for someone wearing a monkey costume as part of their job
- A goat cheese sampler for a Valentine's gift to a goat cheese fanatic that came with a tiny stuffed goat
- A fishing lure in the shape of a wedding band for a bachelor party (that actually failed to attract a fish, just for grand irony)
- A bubble wand that created exactly 12 bubbles per blow for an experimental play about a hung jury
- A tiny pretend chainsaw to cut a first birthday cake (seems like a bad precedent to set, but who am I to question?)
- Creepoid levels of personal information about my friends' sketchy internet dates, in order to subvert said dates, and pre-rescue said friends
- My future husband's picture on a tiny corner of a website, after he sent me a tweet almost a decade ago
(That last one was my smartest search ever, with "cheap flights to Boston" coming in a close second.)
I still love finding things other people can't find, or finding just the right thing when the ideal object is elusive. It's less about keywords now than understanding the platforms things end up on, and being enough of a human thesaurus to phrase a request in 19 different ways.
I used to think I could have been a great detective or FBI agent or CIA agent, but my friend in law enforcement kindly explained to me that my capacity to find an extremely accurate garlic bread costume online was not going to bring any criminals to justice.
He clearly forgot about the mafia.