• http://sites.google.com/site/winooski/ Winooski

    I smile because I don’t support these candidates, but then I think how there’s nothing stopping a group of conservatives from spinning up a similar SEO bomb for [Obama]. O tempora, o mores.

  • http://www.pbs.org/mediashift Mark Glaser

    Actually, when you search for “obama” on Google, one of the results on the first page is for a major propaganda film against Obama called “The Obama Deception” on YouTube. It is pretty crazy stuff, but has been viewed 9.8 million times. Here’s part of the film’s description:

    “The Obama phenomenon is a hoax carefully crafted by the captains of the New World Order. He is being pushed as savior in an attempt to con the American people into accepting global slavery.”

    Not the same kind of Google bomb material but definitely a weird link to find on the first page of search results.

  • http://www.couponcodescout.com Daniel Sayer

    Try doing a Google Search for “George Soros”…, not a Google Bomb but another great example!

  • gmcguire

    With all the left and right leaning organizations that support these candidates and politicians you’d think they’d be able to dominate the first 10 results of any SERP!

    I’d make 10 propaganda websites and get every conservative/liberal blogger to link to them depending on which side I was on.

  • http://www.davidlonergan.com David Lonergan

    There are a few easy ways to get a site ranked high in Google in the first 30 days of its existence.
    1.) Write keyword heavy meta tags
    2.) Ensure your h1 tag is exactly what you want to be found for – in this case ‘romney’
    3.) Provide enough content to get indexed – in this case a definition
    4.) Have a least 1 outbound link and 1 inbound link that has been indexed in Google
    5.) Immediately install Google products such as Analytics and Google+ –
    6.) If possible, include your h1 tag in your domain name, which it does.
    7.) Install Webmaster Tools about 1 week later

    If you employ ALL of the above tactics which are ‘best practices’ anyways, you can easily get on the first page of Google organic results. It is even easier to do it with a city qualified term. I have been successful with this at least 85% of the time, albeit the results don’t last long….

  • TT

    I’m fairly sure a search for “romney” would get a QDF component, so the short timeframe actually works in favour of this. Law of Unintended Consequences, perhaps?

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    TT, I did consider QDF and almost mentioned that. It’s a good point. But that tends to work more toward news sites and content, which this isn’t. Still, query deserved freshness might be at play here — though Bing remains a mystery.

  • http://thedofollowblog.blogspot.com Nikhil Raj. R

    That site is registered in January. I think it might be due to Google Sandbox Effect. The site got links from Fark and other sites. Also it has the word “Romney” in the title, url, and on the page. Also the Pagerank is 4. Probably the site will be put into the sandbox after some more days. Am I right Danny??

  • TT

    >> tends to work more toward news sites and content

    Yes

    >> which this isn’t

    Maybe. Check the data

    http://www.google.com/trends/?q=romney
    http://www.google.com/trends/?q=romney&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0

    That’s a hell of a spike, and I’d be looking hard at QDF with that profile

    >> though Bing remains a mystery

    Heh, that’s kind of a cold reading. Once I’d remembered to force a US location, I see the offending site at #3, or #4 (incidentally, specifying a US town / state combo seems to reliably hike it up to #3, so there seems to be a non-trivial geo-component for them)

    Oh and Bing tried to snag my FB details and sign me in with them, without my permission, which kind of sucks. But that is, I suppose, a can of worms for another post

  • http://fantasybooksreview.com amypiggott

    That’s unbelievable. The sole reason why the search algorithms exist is to prevent irrelevant websites from being on the first page. I hate seeing people who’ve scammed the system somehow, and also would like to see them banned from the first page along with any of the websites associated with that website. It’s not relevant search, it’s just garbage

  • T.T.

    Amy,

    You’ve got that exactly wrong; algos are meant to promote that which is relevant, not screen out that which is not. It seems a thin philosophical distinction, but it’s important. “Relevance” is a tricky term, as this story illustrates quite well. In this case, the result in question is, in my opinion, relevant for the term “romney”, because it’s expressing a point of view, and lots of people are choosing to link to it / share it via social media / otherwise talk about it.

    Whether you, personally, agree with the sentiment of any given result is, natch, irrelevant. What matters is the aggregate sentiment, as expressed in terms of those links, likes and mentions. All points of view have the same chance to be heard, and even when they get a ranking, no-one is forcing you to agree with them. They still deserve to be heard though.

    Allowing free competition, and letting the best results (or at least the best as well as can be determined by any automated system) rise to the top removes a lot of human bias, intended or not. All possible results are then judged by the same standards, and stand or fall on the same merits. That’s about as fair as it’s currently possible to be

    >> I hate seeing people who’ve scammed the system

    Yes, I too would like to see Wikipedia get a domain level ban from nearly all result sets ;)

  • http://www.crystallake.name N.S.

    All Republican Christians routinely Romney on our country, this isn’t anything new.

  • D.H.

    It worries me that such a “reputable” SEO website would use the link: operator in their research, when it has become – or so I thought – common knowledge that that operator is no longer to be trusted as Google engineers have shut down support for it for some time now.

    How does searchengineland.com not know that? Sorry, but that renders the rest of your credibility completely useless to me.

  • T.T.

    D.H.,

    Your understanding of the link: operator is indeed flawed. You probably don’t know much about the history of link:, and I don’t intend to retell the whole sorry saga here, but the short version is that it now only shows a selection of links that meet certain quality threshholds. It is no longer an exhaustive list of backlink data, but it can provide some information, especially, as in this case, negative information.

    The point is that you’d expect a new site competing in a relatively competitive single-word term to need at least a couple of powerful links to rank highly, which this site appears not to have. You might find it instructive to perform a similar search for the spreadingsantorum.com domain, and compare and contrast.

    I’m sure Danny would have liked to have access to better information when writing this post. I know I would. Why don’t you write to Google, and ask them to uncripple it, so we can all benefit from more complete information?

    >> Sorry, but that renders the rest of your credibility completely useless to me.

    Danny has been writing about SEO since before it was known as SEO. I suppose you’re entitled to your opinion, but I’d strongly urge you to do a bit more research before reaching a final judgement