Google Santorum

Search for “Santorum” and the top result will land you on this page. I was just alerted to this long running campaign via a friend’s Facebook post. The details of it are documented on Wikipedia. Its part political activism against the US senator’s anti gay remarks, part organic google bomb. Organic in the sense that organic search terms are ones that rise to the top of search engine results pages without manipulation. The wikipedia entry of the campaign to create this neologism (a new word definition) included this account of the request to Google to address the matter.

In September 2011 Santorum asked Google to intervene by altering the indexing of the content, saying, “If you’re a responsible business, you don’t let things like that happen in your business that have an impact on the country…To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can’t handle but I suspect that’s not true.”[4] In response to Santorum’s request, a Google spokesperson asserted that Google does not “remove content from our search results, except in very limited cases such as illegal content and violations of our webmaster guidelines.”

[4]

2012124-if-you-google-Santorum.png.scaled1000

This story strikes me as a kind of keyboard democracy. Its the popularity, interest and linking to this page that is resulting in the high search result. And perhaps some future business for reputation managers out there.

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