Gene called me up last week to give me the big news.
"Your page is the second-highest listing for 'Sean Keane' on Google", he told me. "Seankeane.com is the only one ahead of you. Good job."
Zembla has been around for a little over two years, which works out to about seven months when you adjust for frequency of updates. Just a year ago, the Sean Keane page rankings were dominated by Irish folk singer Seán Keane (also known as "the real Seán Keane) and wee Zembla was barely in the top 100. Now, as my internet famousness has grown, Zembla has pulled itself up the Google ladder, delighting a tiny group of my friends and relatives while confusing thousands of Irish music fans and Nabokov scholars.
If there's one thing I've learned from my meteoric rise up the search engine charts, it's that you can't get complacent. Look what happened to the other Irish musician named Seán Keane. He's a world-renowned fiddle player and a member of Ireland's greatest folk band, the Chieftains. He's also only #3 in the rankings. Maybe it's time to put down the tin whistle and starting working on the HTML, Seán.
That's why I've searched extensively for any and all Sean Keanes that might threaten my Google near-supremacy. You never know when some young Sean Keane might come around, trying to make a name for himself by Google bombing and clawing his way to the top. The way to prepare for that, as both Branch Rickey and Canteen Boy could tell you, is scouting.
The Sean Keane Report
Seán Keane, Finest Tenor Vocalist In Ireland
This is the big daddy of all Sean Keanes. Mr. Keane is wildly popular among Irish folk fans and has won a ton of awards. Q Magazine calls him "the finest singer of his generation". I'm not even the finest singer in my own house. Now that he and his brothers have formed a group (Citizen Keane), he may have locked up his #1 ranking for years to come, as well as stealing the title of my unpublished memoirs. He may be tough to beat, especially with the arrogant "á" in his first name, reminding everyone that he's a bona fide Irishman, not just a California kid who doesn't tan well.
Verdict: Stiff competition, angelic voice.
Fiddler/Tin Whistle Player Seán Keane
The emergence of folk singer Seán Keane probably hit this guy hard. He had a great, multi-decade run of success with the Chieftains, complete with show-stopping fiddle solos and traditional folk groupies throwing their panties and tam-o'-shanters on stage. Suddenly, a superstar emerges in the mid-90's. Sure, he doesn't have the same track record or following as The Chieftains, but the difference is, this Seán Keane sings, so suddenly one of the greatest fiddlers in Irish history is now the "other Seán Keane". It's a damn shame.
Verdict: I don't think he's gaining ground on Zembla anytime soon.
Hockey Sean Keane
No longer a defenseman/forward for Manhattanville College, Hockey Sean Keane is not competition in the page rankings, unless he catches on with a minor league hockey team or something. I am impressed by two things about this Sean Keane. One, he's enough of a versatile athlete that he played for both the hockey and golf teams at Manhattanville. Two, he led the hockey team in penalty minutes AND won the MVP, meaning he is both a tough and talented son of a bitch. His biography even refers to him as "grizzled" at the age of 22. Hockey Sean Keane, you truly are a valiant man.
Verdict: Minimal threat, but I'd totally buy him a beer.
Photographer Sean Keane
I don't know much about this Sean Keane, except that he's skilled in web design, and he has a hot wife named Candy Keane. "Candy Keane" is one of the punny names my parents reportedly considered for me and my sisters, along with "Peachy". It's funnier that it doesn't even appear to be this model's maiden name.
Verdict: Minimal threat, but I'd totally buy his wife a beer.
UPDATE: Photographer Sean Keane is a Navy SEAL, making him the toughest Sean Keane on this list. Apologies to Tae Kwon Do Black Belt Sean Keane, the former toughest Sean Keane in the world. I don't think this affects Photographer Sean Keane's status as an internet threat, because Google does not take hand-to-hand combat into account when they calculate page rank. I would like to amend my earlier comment to read, "I'd totally buy his wife a beer with his permission."
Black Texan Sean Keane-Dawes
So much for those haters who insist that all Sean Keanes are Irishmen or fighters. Mr. Keane-Dawes is a talented attorney specializing in immigration law. It's probably unlikely that he and I are relatives, but I have family members who swear that New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is my distant cousin, so you never know.
Verdict: Mr. Keane-Dawes will provide aggressive representation, but not an aggressive web presence.
Photoblog Sean Keane
This guy even has his own members-only clubhouse, while I don't even have my own Members Only jacket. He has a photoblog with amusing and funny pictures, and he's also interested in Early Childhood Education. In other words, this guy is a rival. Hopefully he will stick to teaching preschool, because anyone who can create an image like the one below is a serious threat.
It checks messages from space! Brilliant!
Verdict: Serious threat.
Penn State Sean Keane
This guy wants a job in IT. He's still in school until 2007, so I think he won't be making his mark on the Internet until then. I just hope his college doesn't poach my college's football coach in the offseason.
Verdict: Go Bears!
Engineering Grad Student and Gun Rights Advocate J. Sean Keane
J. Sean Keane is concerned with gun rights and Vietnam veterans, though I think he's a pretty young guy. He writes eloquently about concealed weapons permits and the Second Amendment. Unfortunately for his Google status, he doesn't appear to be a big arguer or name-caller, so he won't attract enough criticism and venom to truly launch his internet famousness. I do wonder what the "J" stands for.
Verdict: Armed and dangerous, but not so much dangerous in terms of page ranking.
PalmPilot Artist Sean Keane
If PalmPilot art takes off the way that some art critics expect it to, this Sean Keane, whoever he is, might become quite the Internet superstar. "Great Expectations", shown above, is nothing special, but check out "Super Dizzy-Phat" at the link above to see why I think PalmPilot art might have some promise.
Verdict: If he moves on to Blackberry-based art, we may be in for a rivalry.
UPDATE: PalmPilot artist Sean Keane and Photoblog Sean Keane are one and the same! I should have recognized the artistic genius. I told you he's a threat.
Friend To The Van Den Hende Family Sean Keane
Looks eerily like a teenage Dennis Keane.
Verdict: Eerie, but not worrisome.
UPDATE (12/6/05): Another Dennis-like photo can be found
here here. Damn if there aren't some handsome Sean Keanes out there.
Irish Golf Course Construction Company General Manager Sean Keane
Pros: Has met Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Fine bushy mustache.
Cons: You can't play golf on the Internet.
Verdict: Or can you?!?
Albany Police Detective and Drum Major Sean Keane
Detective Keane can handle a snare drum and a service revolver. He may also regularly wear a kilt. This combination is highly valued on many online personal sites, so Detective Keane might well become more popular than he could imagine, given some basic programming skills and an open mind.
Secretary of the North American County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association Sean Keane
I'm just happy that this organization exists.
Union College Basketball Reserve Sean Keane
Can shoot the three. No longer playing.
Keane played six games for the Dutchmen, averaging just over one point per contest and just under one rebound. This Sean Keane played sporadically for a talented team that just missed a championship, (he's second from the right) which was eerily similar to my own basketball career. Of course, he's a college athlete and I was in fourth grade. While it's likely that neither of us can dunk a basketball, he probably knows a lot more people that can dunk than I do, too.
Verdict: Left open on the perimeter, this Sean Keane is a threat. As an internet presence, less so.
Senior Journalist Sean Keane
This Sean Keane seems to inspire a lot of ire from one particular blogger, though I am not versed enough in local Irish regional politics to know whether the criticisms are fair.
Verdict: Until Kilkenny People develops a better interface to search their archives, this Sean Keane is not a threat.
Irish Taekwon Do Black Belt Sean Keane
This Sean Keane could kick my ass harder than any other Sean Keane on this list. Unless Hockey Sean had a hockey stick, and Detective Sean had pepper spray. Damn, those three would make a kickass crime-fighting team.
Residential Businessman From Connecticut Sean Keane
According to the minutes, Sean Keane doesn't have a lot of enemies in Westchesterfield.
Verdict: Not a threat, unless his home business involves routers or pornography.
UPDATE: Another Sean Keane located!
New Jersey Sean Keane
Likes Tupac. At 5'11", this Sean Keane is a good four inches taller than many Sean Keanes, at the tender age of 17. Plus, the ladies love him. Clearly, this is a Sean Keane to keep an eye on.
Discovering this Sean Keane also alerted me to the existence of Keansburg, New Jersey, which might be a good spot for Sean Keane World Headquarters, assuming there is a good place to build a secret underground cave or at least a tree fort.
Verdict: A rising star in the Sean Keane universe.
UPDATE: Another Sean Keane located!
Southern Connecticut State University Soccer Sean Keane
This Sean Keane is a fullback for the Southern Connecticut State Owls. According to his roster information, he's 6'1" - quite tall for a Sean Keane. I also played defense in my days as a soccer player, but that was because I couldn't dribble and was five years old.
Soccer Sean Keane is also Canadian, making him the go-to Sean Keane for cheap pharmaceuticals and legal weed. In the team photo below, I think he's third from the left on the top row:
Verdict: More of a threat if you're using the metric system.
UPDATE: Another Sean Keane located!
Newlywed Sean Keane
This Sean Keane was married last September on Long Island. According to his wedding page, Newlywed Sean Keane "enjoys watching sports, movies, music, computers, and enjoying time with his friends", proving that there are some pleasures common to all the world's Sean Keanes. Newlywed Sean Keane has a degree in Information Technology, so he certainly has the firepower to mount a page rank assault.
Verdict: A sleeping giant.