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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More on Santorum's Google Rank Change

Posted by on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 11:49 PM

Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land has some more analysis of today's change to the Google rank of Santorum. Sullivan knows what he's talking about when it comes to Google.

His conclusion? Some recent changes to Google's search algorithms might be behind the change, but that doesn't mean Google wasn't feeling the heat and found a way to resolve it without uniquely targeting

To date, Google has refused to make any change specifically to the listing, which is pretty much in keeping with how it approaches these types of issues.

Instead, Google prefers to resolve tricky issues like these by looking for solutions that may impact a wide range listings. Rather than only fix how President George W. Bush was “Google bombed” to rank for “miserable failure,” Google rolled out a fix to solve Google bombs in general.

In the end, unless Google just comes out and says so, it's very hard to know whether this was targeted or not. Changing the system the way they do could provide very good cover for getting rid of problematic rankings without singling out a particular site, but of course their algorithms are fine-tuned all the time for perfectly legitimate reasons, with thousands of sites finding their rankings suddenly altered.

Sullivan says he's checking with Google for further info, stay tuned.

Also recommended is Sullivan's in-depth look at this whole thing from last September, while Spreading Santorum was still riding the top of the charts.


Comments (16) RSS

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Start clicking on it again until it gets brought back to #1 spot? #2 is #1!!!
Posted by cattycat on February 29, 2012 at 11:37 PM · Report this
I find it fishy that the main page for spreading santorum doesn't show up for at least the first 5 pages (I stopped looking after 5), yet the blog AND another page from the website do. (shouldn't show up before…)
Posted by julia on February 29, 2012 at 7:58 PM · Report this
@13 - Froth can stick to something. Given that it's a lube froth, too, I bet it definitely sticks. High viscosity and surface tension, probably.
Posted by STJA on February 29, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
@ 1: i thought Santorum, by definition, is frothy, not sticky.... Now i'm confused... Are you telling me there is another definition of santorum out there?
Posted by dutchie on February 29, 2012 at 11:15 AM · Report this
DOUG. 12
Scrubbing Santorum...nasty.
Posted by DOUG. on February 29, 2012 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 11

Yes, I monitor my own Google page rank like a hawk.

In fact, I was surprised when the forum my friend Brian Hansen and I run, took the number one slot for the query "you read it here first".

My current challenge is that the ever-unique New York Times started some kind of weekly column called...You Read It Here they are nipping at our heels.

Do those New York Times guys ever write anything they thought of, or do they sniff web content all day long and then call it their own...I thought HuffPo was bad...

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on February 29, 2012 at 8:36 AM · Report this
Josh Bis 10
You're still number one at Bing.
Posted by Josh Bis on February 29, 2012 at 8:27 AM · Report this
Anthony Hecht 9
@8, others - I don't think there's nearly enough evidence to say the site was scrubbed intentionally yet. As I said, it's possible one of the side-effects of recent changes did this, and it's possible they knew that was the case and were happy about it, but the fact that 2 of the top 3 results are still about the neologism, and that other parts of the spreading santorum site are still prominently listed, including dead pages, suggests to me something less nefarious, but of course it could be both things.
Posted by Anthony Hecht on February 29, 2012 at 8:18 AM · Report this
You got scrubbed. There's no way this is a current coincidence. But yeah, they did it the google way. Not that surprised, really, but a little disappointed.

Looking up "definition of santorum" pulls your site three times (more or less) on the front page.
Posted by STJA on February 29, 2012 at 7:38 AM · Report this
badstone 7
Five of my top ten results are about the neologism, including the spreadingsantorum blog at #5
Posted by badstone on February 29, 2012 at 7:20 AM · Report this
Big Matt G 6
#3 Wins the entire internet today!
Posted by Big Matt G on February 29, 2012 at 7:11 AM · Report this
Griffin 5
Huh. Even if I Google "spreading Santorum" the best I get is a link to the 2004 edition of the page, not the current site. You got scrubbed, sadly.
Posted by Griffin on February 29, 2012 at 5:52 AM · Report this
Knat 4
...And now that I've wandered back and scrolled down a bit, I see that I basically just parroted what Dan said earlier. Oops.
Posted by Knat on February 29, 2012 at 1:07 AM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 3
Sic Semper Santorum.
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on February 29, 2012 at 1:06 AM · Report this
Yeah, it's not going anywhere. And hey, at least the urban dictionary copy of the definition is still #1.
Posted by NateMan on February 29, 2012 at 12:34 AM · Report this
Knat 1
Even if Spreading Santorum isn't going to be the top hit on the Google search result of santorum, I think it's safe to say the original goal of the neologism is has already been reached, and santorum's gonna stick.
Posted by Knat on February 29, 2012 at 12:17 AM · Report this

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