This, on the left, is the famous golfer John Daly. On the right is Jon (no “h”) Daly, a comedian and UCB veteran, in a fat suit and golf clothing.
His entire life, Jon’s lived in the shadow of John. “I have about three conversations [about it] a month,” the H-less Jon told Buzzfeed. “‘Oh, you’re John Daly like the golfer? Ha ha ha.’ That’s my life. That’s never going to change.”
It sucks, so like a true comedian, Daly (no H) decided to have fun with it. He’s launched a project called “Jon Daly is John Daly,” devoted to Santoruming his own Jon-as-John pictures permanently into the consciousness of the Web, until Google Image can no longer tell the two Dalys apart.
The 17th Page of a “John Daly” Google Image Search circa 3:30, July 17
He’s using the tools of basic SEO to do it, commanding fans to spread the pictures onto social media until they’ve got enough links and copies to impress Google’s algorithm. The success so far has been mixed. I didn’t come across a Jon/John until page 17 of my search yesterday afternoon. This morning, he’s moved up to page 15.
It works, at least in theory, because search results are both easy to game and important to a person’s online footprint. If Jon wants to elbow his way onto John’s Google Image results, no one will be around to stop him.
On some level, he’s defacing Google. It was full of nice, useful pictures of a golfer, and he threw in some very confusing pictures of himself in a fat suit. But on another level, it’s just one more platform for comedy — and as Santorum found out, these things can stick around for a very long time.
Jon’s certainly not stopping. He’s already made a Comic Con appearance as Daly-with-an-h, and plans to do more shows in the golfer persona. “I consider the John Daly project as a project that will exist for the rest of my life. My pictures will never stop infiltrating his.”