There's a small chance that one in ten of you have at some point Googled the phrase "Britain's sexiest man" to see who comes up, and if so, there's one bizarre anomaly waiting within the image results -- the admittedly quite well put together topless form of Tom Church.
Tom Church is not a celebrity, he's a normal man who does a blog, makes some suits and dabbles in writing. His status as the UK's sixth sexiest man of all time according to Google Images today is the result of a solid bit of search engine optimisation with the aim of -- happy backing music reaches a crescendo -- impressing his girlfriend.
Yes, he's romantic as well as hunky and nerdy enough to fix all your mobile phone and tablet operating system woes, ladies! He really actually is a top catch, we just didn't know about him until now.
Tom's story begins with an SMS message exchange with his girlfriend, in which she suggested that David Beckham, not Tom, was the sexiest man in Britain. Enraged by this he dumped her and... no. No he didn't. He pretended he was OK with that and set about engineering his internet presences so that a topless photo of himself would enter the Google listings when searching for the term "Britain's sexiest man."
And it all seems like quite an easy process. First of all he chose a suitable pic of himself with his abs out, then named it "Britains-sexiest-man-Tom-Church" and set about uploading it to loads and loads of image sharing sites, sticking it on Pinterest, Photobucket, Imgur, ImageShack and more, editing the tags and descriptions on each picture portal to ensure maximum sexiness visibility was reached.
He then used a third-party indexing site called Pingler to let Google know about the existence of all these copies of the hot topless Tom photo and the tags he'd added, plus, thanks to the way Google's bots assemble their search terms and translate these into results, Tom also pops up in sixth place -- ahead of housewife's choice du jour Tom Hiddleston -- when you search for the phrase "Sexiest Man in Britain":
And, er, just behind Mr Bean. Someone else has been hacking the system.
So well done Tom, and even us writing this page here about him is only helping to cement his reputation with Google's algorithms. An appearance as the week's novelty guest on Graham Norton is surely but weeks away for Britain's sexiest man Tom Church. [Tom Church via Shortlist]