Years ago, they started printing phone books. In these books, you could find stores and services. But how do you select which one is right for you?

Very quickly, businesses realized that just by being the first entry in a category, they could get more business. This led to bizarre naming conventions that only existed to make the listing appear first. Open any large city Yellow Pages and I guarantee you would find a AAA Locksmith company.

This was an early example of the physical world changing to suit the whims of an artificial system. It reigned for a half a century before moving into the slightly more complicated digital realm.

As quickly as new systems are formed, people start to come up with ways to manipulate that system to gain an advantage. This is what is now commonly referred to SEO or Search Engine Optimization. It is writing for a system, in this instance not a static alphabetical listing, but a complicated algorithm.

With this change, the physical world has adjusted again. Business names that revolve around a physical space are forced to take on the characteristics of their nearest identifiable landmark. This makes the world a bit easier to navigate. Nothing simpler than finding a hotel near the Grand Canyon, if the hotel is called the Grand Canyon Hotel.

Still, in some instances the names of businesses are made more boring by the limited knowledge or imagination of potential searchers. I learned this recently when I was looking for a hotel near the Albuquerque International Sunport.

You read that right, the airport that services Albuquerque is not an airport, but a sunport and it has been since the 1960s.

Its a beautiful and evocative name. that is not well-known to people who have never passed through the area. Sadly instead of being embraced by local hotels and businesses, they instead use the generic word airport to describe themselves. If you search Trip Advisor, not one hotel near the Albuquerque International Sunport used the word “Sunport” in their name, all of them use “Airport.”

It is especially unfortunate because Google’s search has gotten so good that they are able to process the word Airport and Sunport and give you basically the same results So now we just have these generically named hotels sitting near this magical Sunport. Sadly most people will never even think about that and the world is a bit of a darker place because of it.