Remember when a mischievous sex columnist Google-bombed Rick Santorum in order to associate the then-U.S. Senator with a neologism for an anal sex byproduct in retaliation for Mr. Santorum’s comments against homosexuality? Perhaps you don’t, because it was almost nine years ago. And in that amount of time, the second search result on both Google and Bing is still spreadingsantorum.com, which features a splash page with the definition of the term as “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex” and a frequently-updated blog about the man himself.
How did Mr. Santorum’s staff let this public relations crisis go on for so long? How many Santorum supporters have had their heads explode before they could even make a donation?
The campaign isn’t helping itself much, writes search engine guru Danny Sullivan, who notes that the campaign has replaced the homepage of the site with a splash page asking for donations that forces readers to jump to a new page before they can learn anything about the presidential candidate. As a result, his campaign page doesn’t even make the first page of Bing and searches for things like how to volunteer with the campaign redirect to the donation page. Many of the site’s pages redirected to the donation form.
Thanks for the free advice, Mr. Santorum’s campaign responded tacitly; they abolished the redirects only four hours after Mr. Sullivan wrote about them (creating a few errors in the process). Nine years after the Google bombing, and Mr. Santorum hadn’t hired any SEO experts to tell him this kind of stuff?
Of course, blog posts like this one don’t help.