Is M.I.A.'s new album title un-Googleable SEO poison?

maya.jpg I am very excited about the contents of M.I.A.'s new album, judging from the material that's been sneak-leaked so far. But hipsterrunoff points out that the album's title is really problematic from an SEO (search engine optimization) standpoint: /\/\/\Y/\ is supposed to spell out MAYA, using forward and back slashes in a sort of nod to leetspeak and txt-y truncation. Ever try searching for a series of slashes in Google? Yeah. It's gonna be a bit of a marketing problem for her, I'd guess. (via PSFK)


  1. Gosh, it’s too bad I’ve never been able to google for that Beatles album they named after themselves. SEO poison! All the search results were for the band, not the album! Oh wait — let me try “white album.” There, that worked.

    People will figure this out. Probably by calling it “Maya.”

    1. Besides, for record labels’ primary goal, preventing people from knowing anything about any of their products, it’s pure “FU Google!” gold.

      Also, second your search for “Maya”, accompanied by “M.I.A.” which will work.

      Gosh, what did we all do when inventory systems were 8.3 DOS on amber monitors?

  2. I have never found the key on my keyboard for the little lightning bolt in AC/DC’s name…

  3. BB, promote M.I.A. by any means necessary!

    Yes, mere mortals need to worry about SEO optimization. Maya’s decision will not affect her sales.

    And I think Google Codesearch could hit that. (-:

  4. What about Justice’s † album? I knew a girl who kept looking for ‘t’.

  5. You know who won’t have a problem with this Yahoo?

    (First time I’ve seen it in years and it comes from me doing a Google test…amusing

  6. One of my favorite bands of the 80’s is “The The”… bummer choice of a name Matt Johnson made there.

    1. One of my favorite bands of the 80’s is “The The”… bummer choice of a name Matt Johnson made there.

      Learn the joys of the quotation mark, grasshopper. [

      I thought that the band “Girls” would have the same problem with there album “Album” but after doing a quick search I was surprised to find relevant information. Maybe “/\/\/\Y/\” will work after all.

    2. All I know is I had a bitch of a time searching for Fiona Apple’s second album.. this at least has about 390 less characters to type

    3. 6th google result:
      /y/ – Yaoi
      y/ is 4chan’s imageboard for posting yaoi hentai images.

    4. Maybe it’s an intentional “too cool to be searchable” thing, like the band Brazilian Girls…

    5. Wait, this is a problem with Google, not a problem with the album name. You’ve got this backwards.

    6. Bah! Just call it Maya. For a real challenge, try finding out if the one-panel comic “Love is…” is available anywhere on the internet.

    7. Why won’t everyone just refer to it as “MAYA”?

      Y’know, the way uTorrent doesn’t get SEO-kiboshed by insisting it’s referred to as “µTorrent”.

    8. @ 3, 14, 18 …

      [/\/\/\Y/\ M.I.A. album] and [m.i.a. maya] give good Google results (don’t include brackets).

      Took me all of 1 minute to ascertain this . . . anyone searching for an album who tries for less than a minute is too stupid to *play* an album!

      ;-) j/k

    9. I’ll bet it gets fixed decently fast. A classic example:

      Stupid fucking Google
      “The” is a common word, and was not included in your search
      “Who” is a common word, and was not included in your search

    10. Does it just mean you have to correctly escape it? Any UNIX geek could show you how

    11. Yeah, it’s a wonder anybody was able to Google for Prince after he changed his name. Letters: what would we do without them?

    12. I’d never heard of ‘M.I.A.’ until now. And found it tricky to get information on his/her/it’s name, let alone ‘maya’
      Make of that what you will.

    13. I always figured these things were done intentionally so as to stop people from being able to search for mp3s.

      Related: Marco V had a song a few years ago called “del C:\*.mp3”.

    14. Albums? What about movie names? Why does everyone want to have these pretentious one word movie titles? Deception, Wanted, Mirrors, Taken, Earth, Legion, Killers, Splice, Machete… How are you supposed to find those films with Google?

    15. I had difficulty a while ago trying to google a band named boink. For some reason most of the hits I was getting were unrelated and NSFW.

    16. Nonissue for M.I.A.! Let Google fix if they care. As covered above, googling the cover name is screwed for any single common word.

      Meanwhile, my searches for Little Bobby Tables latest works keeps coming up empty, too. Feh.

    17. Try googling when you need advice or reference while using Microsoft’s COM architecture… or even the much more publicized and contemporary .NET framework.

    18. Google runs a dynamic system, and they are constantly tweaking it. If a bunch of people start searching for “/\/\/\Y/\”, before long it will just work. If, on the other hand, people don’t want to work so hard, and just type “mia maya” or something like that, it will work too.

      In the early days of search engines, searching for something involving the computer language C++ was a big problem: “+” was treated differently by early search engines. It’s no longer an issue.

    19. Yeah, Google has no problem specialcasing special characters. C#, C++, J++, etc are all examples of this.

      However, searching for “/.” still doesn’t work – have to search for “slashdot”.

    20. Finally, a sensible copyright protection strategy — an un-pirateable album! After all, you can’t have an “/M.I.A. – /\/\/\Y/\/” folder.

    21. I was going to say that Parks and Recreation is even worse, but amazingly, if you type in “Parks and Recreation band” the first link is their myspace. A search without the word “band” of course gets you the TV show or real Parks & Rec departments.

      I agree with most people that this “problem” is pretty much nonexistent.

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