I randomly Google myself sometimes. I have no shame in admitting it. I do it a lot less since not being on social media though. Most of the time it’s never anything interesting. But I still distinctly remember the first time I saw Undertale hijack my search results.
For those that do not know, Undertale is a retro-style RPG with some pretty interesting storytelling, multiple endings, and a very creative fanbase. What also makes the game so interesting is that you can pretty much choose to not fight anyone the entire play-through. Since its release, it developed a very active cult following, with people creating everything from fan art to music, to complete spinoff game concepts.
There’s even a whole category called the “AU”, an “alternate universe” of random “What ifs?” in the Undertale story that revolves around the idea of whether someone dies or not.
Following so far? You might be able to understand my own confusion I was a bit surprised to discover one day in 2020 that someone decided to create an “AU” called Underlost that, well, I need to let the description speak for itself:
Underlost is one side of the coin for the Lost AU and is the second one chronologically created, with Lostrune coming first. It takes place seven years after a neutral route in which you kill only Asgore.
I’m going to level with you, as someone who’s never really played the game and only watched clips, this led me down an hours-long rabbit hole of trying to understand what the hell I just read.
Not only are there spin-off stories of the main game, fans regularly are creating spin-offs of those spin-offs. A what-if of what-ifs. People were posting to DeviantArt of cartoon skeletons with the hashtag #underlost. There was even a song on youtube. I even saw pictures on Pinterest. I don’t even want to know what might be on Twitter.
But do you know the kind of brand damage this has on someone’s SEO?! I mean, you could argue what kind of name even is Underlost? But that’s beside the point. It is fascinating to watch how easily search results can still be manipulated by a small, very active fandom to this day.
But now, I have to continuously remind the decrepit search giant that I am in fact, not an Undertale game. Google your name sometimes. You might be surprised to see what others might be doing with it, and how it’s used. It might be in a genre or field you never would have expected.