sizing up the competition: sean keanes around the world


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. " 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a group (Citizen Keane), he may have locked up his #1 ranking for years to come, as well as stealing the title of my unpublished memoirs.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.

Verdict: Intriguing.

Secretary of the North American County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association Sean Keane

I'm just happy that this organization exists.

Verdict: Overjoyed.

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.

Verdict: Awesome.

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.


Way to go, Sean Keane! You better watch out, though. Linking to all those bizarro Sean Keanes on the #2 website in all of Googledom just might increase their rankings, too. Just pray for a one-to-one click ratio. Or pay a small child with ADHD to keep hitting F5.

Control Zeeing,
C-dub wut!

I figure a rising Google tide lifts all Sean Keanes.

Sean Keane, are you interested in meeting one of your rivals? Because, it could happen if I buzzed you into our apartment and you "stole" an external frame hiking backpack, a couple cans of Modelo, and Am�lie. Then I could call the Albany Police Department and request Detective Keane to be in charge of our case. What do you think?

I'm totally ripping this off when my back heals.

-Brian Dermody
(Not the amateur middleweight powerlifter)
(Not the awkward looking child who shaved his head)

these guys are especially worrying in light of your/monica's theory that there are sean keane-TYPE guys all over the world; a league of funny, sarcastic irishmen poised to take over. what with the name twins and the personality twins, you've got a long way to go to distinguish yourself. maybe if you try writing for mcsweeney's or something.

the internet is quickly becoming a World Where Everyone is Named Sean Keane.

A World Where All Men Are Named Sean Keane

It is becoming increasingly clear that this guy is even more of a threat than I realized.

thats right buddy - watch out!

but think of the power if we all join forces... one world under Sean Keanes - exclusive access. ...! yes yes yes!


An awesome piece Sean. Not to detract, but it reminded me of a search I did on my own name not too long ago. It turns out I'm now a NASCAR champion. Here's my favorite quote from the article:

Aaron Vinson put the finishing touches on a great night, winning the Budweiser 15 feature race in the United Auto Supply Thunderstox division. After winning an earlier heat race, Vinson backed that up by dominating the field in the feature.

Vinson spent the evening of his victory with galpal Kristina, eating vast quantities of small hot dogs and thinking embittered thoughts about mankind.

just because you used italics doesn't mean you can be in the cool club

i changed my mind, you can be in the cool club after all

because i used the word "galpal."

Wow, exhaustingly comprehensive. I don't think there are many other Kenny Byerlys on the net, just a lot of pages where Kennys and Byerlys appear near each other.

Wait, I should google with quote marks! Damn!

I love that the only cute one, Photoblog Sean Keane, commented on your page. I think he and I should date.

Hilarious entry, btw.

Oh and photoblog, do realize a request for a date from Robyn is like winning the publisher's clearinghouse sweapstakes.

I'll let the photo speak for me. She's the one on left as if you couldn't figure that out.

Thank you, Pimp Gene.

it's true. she was once groped by hobbit actors. she is a hot ticket.

Photoblog Sean Keane is such a pimp. I talked to him yesterday, and he has a lot of good ideas for promoting Sean Keane awareness on the web and beyond. There could be contests and prizes and backstage passes to The Chieftains and everything. Sean Keanes working together for Sean Keanes - that's the way it ought to be.

Robyn, you're not the first one to call dibs on a date with Photoblog Sean, but I like your chances.

can it be the resurrection of the Matt Holohan Club in Sean Keane form?

probably not, since the MHC was premised on there being only one Matt. presumably the Sean Keane Club would be restricted to Sean Keanes only. bigots!

To join, you have to either be a Sean Keane, or have a Sean Keane vouch for you. It's like Gmail, but with Sean Keanes, only some of whom have unlimited storage.

I swear I had commented on this saying that I found it impressive you were in the top 100 "keane" listings on google, considering the band and all. Anyway, the other day, when I *didn't* post my comment, Zembla was result #100 for keane. Zembla is now result #66.

Your other comment ended up here. I can't figure out why the band is called Keane. Maybe they're big Manchester United fans?

maybe they can't spell?

Funny those things you run into while searching the web. More Sean Keanes than you can shake a stick at. My husband is the photographer Sean Keane you mentioned and I am the wife lucky enough to marry a man who's last name will create a lifetime of entertainment and the occasional mild humiliation. I could have kept my own name yes, but what fun would that be? My mom says it was meant to be. And the thing is, my real name is Candy, not Candace or anything formal like that. Just Candy. So Candy Keane it is.
I'll take that beer now.

You're kidding me. I'm a single letter off from famedom? A simple genetic letter mutilation, and I have gone from starship to famelessnessity?

Oh well. Keep up the good work, all you Sean Keanes out there, but forget not your Sean Keene brethren. If there are any.

Which I doubt.

this is blowing my mind.
i am a longtime friend of photoblog sean keane. and let me tell you, he is the person who explained to me the very concept of google listing hierarchy. this page is exactly the kind of thing he would perpetrate. i am afraid that he could probably be an unstoppable google presence. you had best team up. i mean seriously, he is like the lawnmower man. he IS the internet.
i actually took the photo of sean eating that mozzarella stick, and it might be interesting to establish myself as the world's official photographer of all sean keanes.
oh, and robyn, i can personally vouch for photoblog sean keane. you should totally date him. he has a heated pool with a waterfall in it.

The team-up is in the works! An expanded version of the Sean Keane store is now hosted at Kempleton:

Expanded Sean Keane store

I'm starting to consider Photoblog Sean Keane as the alpha Sean Keane at this point. Maybe he could refer to me as "Deuce"?

seriously? can we all date him at once?

(note to our sean: next time jack goes to london, let's get cracking on building that waterfall in his room.)


I wonder if the 'Sean Beans' of the world have this problem...


I'm slightly amazed Sean Keane. Woo.

Cool website. I'm the "eerily like a teenage Dennis Keane."

Better pic here though:

I'm curious - what does your "M" stand for? I'm a Sean Michael. You beat me to that gmail address, so, well played, Mr. Keane.

I have included a link to your page, and I will let you know when plans for the national Sean Keane Konvention take shape.

I'm "hockey" sean keane. i like whats being done here, very impressive!

I wonder what the correlation is between being named Sean Keane and performing a regular vanity search.

Maybe compare that stat to prevalence of Irish vanity searches and worldwide vanity searches. (Full disclosure: I'm 75% Irish)

I'm glad you like the page, Hockey Sean Keane. There are some Keanes out here in California that play hockey (though to my knowledge, no Sean Keanes), but they're mostly pretty mediocre, since we're in California.

My brother is a Sean Keane. Does that count for anything? He's another engineering student sean keane, but not of the gun toting variety.

Being a Sean Keane counts for *everything*.

I am glad he hasn't got a gun, because I believe that fighting Sean Keanes really ought to focus on Taekwon Do.

Some great info you put out. I am the Sean Keane married to Candy Keane. Yea, she is pretty cool, easy on the eyes and she surfs. Photography is part time, my full time gig is on a Special Forces Underwater Operations Team. I have been doing it for awhile now. So, now you know the "Seans of the world" have infiltrated into the Special Forces......have to start somewhere.

Hey Guys...

A big international "Sean Keane" hello! Well, I say international as most of the comments for S.K.'s listed so far are from USA/Canada (I'm in the UK).

I can see that the Sean Keane competition is more than a little tough so let me tell you a bit about me:

When not training SAS special forces in unarmed combat I like to help repair old orphanages and teach the little children how to sing...

Sean "The International" Keane.

I just met a Sean Keene from San Francisco. He's off by one letter, but it's still freaky. Especially since he kind of looked like a nerdier, older brother version of you.

I normally would not respond to a website, except it disturbed me for the one other Keene, to assume, we were the ones, who were "fameless". You guys just can't spell. Anyway, Kudos, to you website. Just one more reason Irish people need to use some of the more heinous names like Declan and Seamus more often.
Sean Keene, Electrician, Tennessee

Hello to all Sean Keanes. I am another one who lives in California and the top surfer/snowboarder Sean Keane of all time (aka Keaner). LOL I have a hot fiance' that also surfs. What a strange world of Sean Keanes!!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on December 3, 2004 5:32 PM.

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