Presidential Hopeful Santorum’s “Google Problem” Makes Daily Show

Former Senator and likely Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum hasn’t yet figured out what to do about his “Google Problem” — a negative listing orchestrated by gay syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, which results in the association of Santorum’s name with anal sex. And the search issue is getting attention from that much-watched political “fake news” show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. (The mention is around 1:46 on the clip below.)

We first wrote about this back in February, and the result dates back to 2003, when Savage rallied his supporters for the attack after Santorum made remarks against homosexuality. Santorum’s staffers, according to a Roll Call article, have investigated what to do about the problem, but concluded there was little they could do — something many SEO experts reading this site would probably disagree with. They apparently ruled out talking to Google because they believe it would be stifling free speech.

On The Daily Show last night, Stewart noted the large number of players contending for the Republican presidential nomination, adding that one might need to Google their names to figure out who they were. Singling out Santorum, he gave viewers a “Google break” to see the problematic result for themselves.

Later in the show, guest Keira Knightly says she “just” Googled “Santorum” and comments, “I feel like my innocence has been taken away.”

Postscript: There have been many updates to this story. See our Santorum’s Google Problem category for the latest articles.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: SEO | Search & Society: Santorum Google Problem

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About The Author: is Executive Features Editor at Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. She’s a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since 1998.

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