How SEO is Killing Good Jokes

January 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm 2 comments

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the rank of a web page within search results. It’s what causes bloggers to include the names Ted Cruz, Malala Yousafzai, and Lady Gaga, or the terms 404, fail, and boobs, in a post (sort of like I just did).

There’s an old joke about Einstein, Newton and Pascal playing hide-and-seek, but here’s the same joke as it appears on a shameless site that shall remain nameless:

Pope Francis, Isaac Newton, and Blaise Pascal decide to play hide-and-seek. The Pope closes his eyes, counts to 10, then starts looking for the others. Pascal is nowhere to be found, but Newton is standing directly in front of Pope Francis. There is a one-meter by one-meter box drawn on the ground in chalk, and Newton is standing inside it.

The Pope says, “Newton, you’re terrible at this game! I’ve found you.”

“No, you haven’t,” says Newton. “You’ve found Pascal — I’m one Newton per square meter!”

Perhaps you’re unaware, but Pope Francis was the most popular person on the Interwebs in 2013. He was followed closely by Edward Snowden and Kate Middleton. (Whereas Ed was just a flash in the pan, Frank and Kate will likely have staying power.)

Admittedly, the joke isn’t all that funny with Einstein, either, but it’s even less funny with Pope Francis.

Yet people are doing similar things all over the place. They’re trying to improve their rank by inserting the name of a celebrity here or a current event there. Here’s just a sampling of the kind of stuff you can find online these days:

Miley Cyrus was kicked out of math class for too many infractions.

Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Jeffrey Skilling were asked what 2 + 2 is. Swift said, “I don’t know,” and she meant it. Mars said, “4.” And Skilling said, “What would you like it to be?”

Dick Cheney, Jim Porter, and Justin Bieber are duck hunting. Cheney shoots at a duck and misses 6 inches too high. Porter shoots and misses 6 inches too low. Bieber shouts, “We got it! We got it!”

What does Jeff Kinney do when he’s constipated?
Works it out with a pencil.

Flo (from Progressive Insurance): Why was the math book sad?
George Clooney: Because it had so many problems.

Madonna was trying to measure a flag pole. She only had a measuring tape, and she was getting  frustrated trying to slide the tape up the pole. Stephen Spielberg walks by and offers to help. He removes the pole from the ground, lays it down, and measures it easily. When he leaves, Madonna turns to Guy Ritchie and says, “That’s just like Spielberg! We need to know its height, and he gives us its length!”

There’s a good chance that this post will be the top-ranked page on Google tomorrow…

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Variations on a Theme If Martin Luther King, Jr., Were a Mathematician

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About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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