Candidate Rick Santorum’s Google Problem
March 1, 2012 by staff
Candidate Rick Santorum’s Google Problem, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum can smile now that his Google problem appears to be subsiding. A quick recap: In 2003, Dan Savage, a popular sex columnist, asked his readers to come up with a new definition for Santorum’s last name. The goal, as Savage described in a column at the time, was to remind readers of Santorum’s positions on gay rights issues, which Savage didn’t like.
Savage chose a definition of a sexual nature which wouldn’t normally appear in a family newspaper.
Savage even created a website, spreadingsantroum.com, to help facilitate a campaign to re-appropriate Santorum’s name on the Internet. For years afterward, it worked, and the first link on Google was Savage’s website and the unusual definition.
That changed this week.
Following a surge of interest in Santorum’s presidential campaign, as of late Tuesday Savage’s webpage had fallen down the list, and now occupies 10th place, below the candidate’s own website (ranked number 8).
Representatives for Santorum didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In past interviews, Santorum has said he asked Google to clean up the results for his name. It’s not clear whether the candidate hired search engine optimization experts to help shift the ranking of his own and supporters’ sites. It does appear that his campaign has bought some Google keyword advertising, which appears at the top of search results for some users.
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