• david.suarez

    hey i still see the page and the def in the SER, i took a screen shot for proof

  • Ayaan Ahmed

    You missed the Urban Dictionary link in #2 position. Which clearly explains something related to Sex, According To Dictionary.

    And what about Rick Santorum ?

    Position #11 in Google santorumexposed.com.

  • http://ninebyblue.com/ Vanessa Fox

    This presents as a technical issue to me. (Or possibly but less likely, a penalty I guess.) I wonder if they changed anything recently on the site (that they don’t realize). I might reach out to Dan Savage and ask a few more questions.

    The home page simply links to the blog, which it may have done for a while, but the blog header links back to the blog main page. There seem to be no links back to the home page. The footer links here: http://www.spreadingsantorum.com/index2.html, which seems to have been the old format of the site and the header in that case links back to that page. I’m wondering if every page of the site used to link to the home page and now no pages of the site do.

    Edited to add: a have a bunch of other ideas that are better than the paragraph above. After reading the update from Google on SafeSearch, that makes sense. The binary nature indicated a tech issue or penalty. But applying safesearch would operate as a penalty would.

  • http://www.ryanmjones.com Ryan Jones

    Could this be an issue of QDF? Not only has the santorum thing gotten a ton of press, but primaries are now in full swing and his name is all over the front page of the newspapers – looking at the results it seems google is showing recent posts and news coverage. Is it possible that google decided this query is one that deserves freshness and the results changed because of that?

  • Marla Hughes

    As usual, you guys are professional, objective, honest and politically neutral. The epitome of professionalism.

  • Roark

    Your obsession with anal sex is boring and frankly pathetic. Why don’t you knock it off?

  • https://plus.google.com/108294644843012118879/posts Allen Cross

    My results with Firefox 10.0.2 for Mac show Urban Dictionary down at #4 and two pages from Savage’s site buried at #8 and #9. Search was done while logged out of everything but Twitter…and I’ve never tweeted about Santorum.

    Screenshot in my G+ album.:

    https://plus.google.com/photos/108294644843012118879/albums/5627529381484082881/5714934493199530338

  • https://plus.google.com/108294644843012118879/posts Allen Cross

    Just noticed Danny’s update. Checked on Safe Search and found it set to ‘moderate’ (filtering). So, I re-set it to ‘off’ (no filtering) and then tried the Santorum search again.

    This time, both the Urban Dictionary and Savage listings were gone from SERP1. Only mention of anything unsavory was highly relevant: a Mother Jones article entitled…

    “Rick Santorum’s Anal Sex Problem”

    Figured I might as well try one more search — again, after logging out of Google and everything but Twitter. Results were basically identical to the preceding attempt.

  • SteveL

    I have to admit, there’s something that’s been bugging me since Matt Cutts made his “this isn’t Googlebombing, it’s SEO” comment.

    Google’s aim should be to “find the most authoritative sites on the Web for a keyword”, not “to find the sites that have the best SEO”.

    I think if you ask 99% of the people searching on the word “santorum”, all of them will say that they were looking for information on the presidential candidate, not on what a band of Internet pranksters decided to redefine his name as.

    While it’s cute to use semantics to say this is not “Googlebombing” because the target is their own site, not someone else’s site, the bottom line is–it’s using artificial link patterns to effect Google’s ranking algorithm. It’s really no different than what JCPenney or Overstock were raked over the coals for doing–even though the sites which participated in this linking scheme weren’t paid cash money, it’s arguable that they did receive intangible rewards (namely, the buzz and furor this has caused that detracts from Santorum’s candidacy, something the Romney, Gingrich and Obama campaigns would definitely pay for if they could).

    An argument could be made that Rick Santorum’s site doesn’t have strong SEO, but honestly, they’re doing a lot of things the way Google says they should be done. They’re 301ing the second level domain to the third level, they’ve included Open Graph tags, they include relevant information, and so on. Their link graph is “natural” and healthy just the way Google likes–there are no signs of link spam. If I were consulting them, I’d probably suggest that they add a bio on the home page, they put descriptive ALT tags on their slideshow and logo images, and they do a 301 redirect from /index.php to the root, and so on. But honestly, we’re just nitpicking at this point.

    While a lot of folks will sit back and laugh because they feel Santorum has “what’s coming to him”, as with anything to do with politics (or SEO), a lot of this can turn around quickly. If this can be done so easily to the “Santorum” brand, why couldn’t it be done to any other brand? Already on Google Local, you’re seeing that the preferred tactic of reputation management companies is NOT to load up a client’s profile with positive reviews, but to load up their competitors’ profiles with negative reviews. For the time being, it’s the businesses that are being hurt, but at some point it’s going to turn around and be Google that people can’t trust anymore, which will leave the door wide open for someone else. If you think that can’t happen, remember that most of us who were on the Web in 1997 swore by a little search engine called Altavista.

    Interestingly, Bing is still showing “spreadingsantorum” as its first result, likely because its algorithm is almost completely reverse-engineered from Google’s. On the other hand, a little search engine called “Blekko” has as its top results articles from Fox News, Rollcall, Politico, the US Congress, Mother Jones, and Wikipedia. Again, taking politics out of it–which one would YOU trust?

  • Edward

    That google result is a national treasure and should be restored to its proper prominence immediately. Just as a person typing “barrel roll” into google probably isn’t all that interested in aerodynamics, the majority of the people searching for Santorum do so for the pure frothy joy of spreading santorum. I hold out hope that, even as Santorum is wiped off the polls with the kleenex of democracy, santorum will surge to the top once gain.

  • http://christineboese.net Chris Boese

    Quick question: how much can differing results be a direct output of Google’s new personalization scheme to serve up different results to different users based on their previous searches, preferences, and usage patterns?

    While Google may think such approaches are designed to “help users,” it effectively screws researchers or anyone who depends on a repeatable and uncorrupted data set. Google is putting user experience assumptions ahead of the value of returning an accurate database call.

    What can serious researchers do when data sets aren’t reliable? Will we be forced to return to the days of Lexis/Nexis and proprietary databases for reliable data sets?