I have found two additional baby name websites to add to my review of the best baby name websites: The Right Baby Name and Baby Name Addicts. The Each site has some unique features. The Right Baby Name has a very ineresting report and analysis for each baby name, and the Addicts site has a very large database of names, many added from the strong user base.
Like I noted elsewhere, the reason I started this website was because many of the baby name websites that I found were presenting the same data in boring, ad-filled pages. One of the least inspiring ways to browse names is alphabetically in a long list since there is no context for popularity of names or name relatedness. Many sites offered no passion for the names or interest in looking at it in different ways... they were cluttered, slow and difficult to navigate.
I have written a review of what I think are some GOOD baby name websites. This is my review of the underperformers (who show up very high in Google search rankings)
To get a list of these "bad" sites, just go to Google and search for "baby names," then all the sites in the first couple pages which I did not mention in my review of good websites are the set of not-great websites. I am only slightly kidding.
Here is a mini-review for the top 20 links of a "baby names" Google search results (as of June 30, 2008):
Overall, there are some really great options for looking for baby names. When I first started looking at baby name websites, I was shocked by the larger number of pretty boring and copycat type baby name websites. In fact, I have a review of baby name websites to avoid, also. But, now it is clear that there are a couple pretty good choices. Every site has some issues, but the ones listed here should keep anyone busy for a long time.
Here are the best baby name websites: Baby Name Wizard, Social Security Administration, Nymbler, Behind the Name, BabyNamer, Baby Name Map, Baby Name Clusters (this site) and Babynames.com. Added July 20, 2008: The Right Baby Name and Baby Name Addicts.
About 10 days after officially launching our site, we are now officially part of Google search results. The official launch was done by starting with a week of ads on Google. We paid about $10/day for a week for about 100 visitors. I have detailed logs to see what pages they visited and how long they stayed, so that I can try to figure out how to improve the site. This would be a pricey way to keep traffic coming in, so I need to improve my "organic" results (when someone searches for "baby names," we need to be higher up in the results, and preferably on the first page). There are, of course, other ways to drive traffic to this site, but lots of people go to Google and type "baby names," and it would be nice for them to find us.
Thus, within a couple days of our launch, I also submitted the home page to the "googlebot" (the computer which surfs the web) and also the Yahoo! and MSN Live search engines. Google has a very good set of webmaster tools to manage how Google views a website you own. They give lots of advice about how to improve the ranking in a search.
Today, Google has searched some pages of this site, and now you can type "baby name clusters," and we are the top hit! Not that anyone would type that, but it shows that we now exist. When I type "baby names," I went through 30 pages, and I can't find this site... So, there is still work to be done. The best way to improve search ranking is to have people link to this site. Anyone can track how many inbound links there are to a website by searching "link:babynameclusters.com" into Google.
This site is now live!
I started working late in 2007 as we searched for a name for our second baby girl. I was fed up with all the standard, boring, baby name websites out there - littered with ads. I will write a "review" of other baby name websites, just so you can see what I mean.
See the About page for some more info.
Using this blog, I will talk about interesting name trends that I find when looking through the rich data here. I will also follow the (hopeful) growth in popularity of this website.
This has been a really fun project. I got to download the entire wikipedia onto my $100 craigslist linux computer. I think its pretty amazing that the entire body of wikipedia knowledge can fit on a DVD (it was only about 4.5 gigabytes).
Why wikipedia? I wanted famous people's names so that new parents could get a feel for whom else has the name they are about to give to a brand new baby. Some new parents are clueless about pop culture (because they already have a kid), or history, or sports... so it seems like it would be really useful to know about notable people, celebrities, or other famous people before picking a special and unique baby name.
For any people wanting to try this at home, read on: