Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spreading Santorum, #1 Result When You Google "Santorum," 2003-2012

Posted by on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 10:38 PM

spreadingsplat.jpg

Yesterday I Googled "santorum" and #1 search result was the link to www.spreadingsantorum.com and the not-so-new-anymore definition of santorum: "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex." (Only "sometimes" the byproduct because, if you're doing it right, there's no santorum!) But tonight when I Googled "santorum"—after getting an alert from a reader—the link to www.spreadingsantorum.com and the frothy-mix definition did not show up as the #1 Google search result. In fact, the landing page for the site did not appear anywhere in the search results. (But the blog that the site links to did.)

Has www.spreadingsantorum.com been disappeared?

This, of course, is what Rick Santorum asked Google to do months ago. Google told Santorum they couldn't, they told Santorum they wouldn't, because www.spreadingsantorum.com was the legit #1 search result when you Googled his last name. It wasn't a Google bomb, we weren't gaming Google's algoribbons or whatever. We were legit.

But tonight we're gone. I'm not too sad about it—hey, we had a good run!—but I am a little mystified. Why now? Was it intentional? Did Google cave to the pressure? Or was this the result of Google tweaking their searchbrainz? Whatever the reason, you can file this one under "careful what you wish for, Rick." Because the new #1 return when you Google "santorum" isn't Rick Santorum's official website, or his wiki page, or news about Rick Santorum's campaign, or Elizabeth Santorum's twitter feed. It's the Urban Dictionary definition for Santorum. And guess what? Their definition is way grosser than the official one:

The sometimes frothy, usually slimy, amalgam of lubricant, stray fecal matter, and ejaculate that leaks out of the receiving partner's anus after a session of anal intercourse.

Um... that grosses me out.

They can remove Spreading Santorum from the search results—or it can fade away, thanks to algoribbon tweaks—and they can remove Urban Dictionary's definition too. But the damage is already done. No one has to Google "santorum" when they see a headline like "Santorum comes from behind in Alabama three-way." Everyone gets the joke without anyone having to look it up. The new definition is out there. Mission accomplished. Rick Santorum is this century's Vidkun Quisling. (We're still the #1 result when you search "santorum" at Bing.com.)

 

Comments (67) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
I just Googled it, and it's back to #1. Don't know what happened, but nice to know that it's back.
Posted by Nandor on February 28, 2012 at 10:43 PM · Report this
Zebes 2
My results: #1 is Urban Dictionary, #2 Wikipedia, and #3 his campaign site.

I'm a bit sad, but he'll always be a foul stain in my book. Google can't change that.
Posted by Zebes http://www.badrap.org/rescue/index.html on February 28, 2012 at 10:50 PM · Report this
3
Blog was #6 for me but the definition wasn't on the first page.
Posted by Bhamjason on February 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM · Report this
4
@1, I just got the same result as Dan. Inquiring minds want to know. Why, Google, why?
Posted by gloomy gus on February 28, 2012 at 11:01 PM · Report this
5
I didn't find it until the second page, and it went straight to the blog site, bypassing the primary brown splotted page altogether. I sense a conspiracy.
Posted by SeattleKim on February 28, 2012 at 11:08 PM · Report this
6
@1 you probably need to clear your cache.
Posted by I Got Nuthin' on February 28, 2012 at 11:09 PM · Report this
7
For me:

#1. Rick Santorum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

#2. Campaign for "santorum" neologism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

#3. Urban Dictionary: santorum

So, yeah. It looks like Google changed something.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on February 28, 2012 at 11:11 PM · Report this
8
I get blog.spreadingsantorum on the first page, but the index front page is on page 2 of search resuts.
Posted by Karey on February 28, 2012 at 11:22 PM · Report this
9
I figured it out: I use the German version of Google (Google[dot]de), which still has it as #1. Google[dot]mx (Mexico) and Google[dot]com[dot]br (Brazil) also have it as #1, Google[dot]fr (France) as #2, Google[dot]it (Italy) as #3, Google[dot]ru (Russia) as #3, and Google[dot]es (Spain) as #6. It's been scrubbed from the English versions: US/International (Google[dot]com), Canadian (Google[dot]ca), British (Google[dot]co[dot]uk), Irish (Google[dot]ie), Australian (Google[dot]com[dot]au), and Indian (Google[dot]in). Sad.

Apparently santorum is very popular in Germany, the land of the weird fetishes.
Posted by Nandor on February 28, 2012 at 11:22 PM · Report this
rob! 10
Hmmm. Something to do with Google privacy policy changes? Maybe they're now using our personal search histories and dwell time/clicks on pages that are primarily political news versus primarily humor/mockery to determine the order of results served up.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on February 28, 2012 at 11:23 PM · Report this
11
Sorry for using [dot] instead of the real URLs above. Using the real URLs flags it as spam or something within SLOG and blocks the post from being published.
Posted by Nandor on February 28, 2012 at 11:23 PM · Report this
rob! 12
...or what Nandor said.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on February 28, 2012 at 11:26 PM · Report this
13
@9, spreading santorum is also #1 (well, #2, after a "Santorum niews" website) also at Google[dot]com[dot]nl, the Dutch page. Indeed: I get very different results searching from the basic American English page and from any non-English page.

This probably should be publicized. Did Google cave in? Or is something else going on?
Posted by ankylosaur on February 28, 2012 at 11:31 PM · Report this
14
grow up
Posted by Swearengen on February 28, 2012 at 11:32 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 15

Check out Bing.

You're number one.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on February 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM · Report this
16

spreadingsantorum.com is still in Google's index, but you've been bumped to page 2 for the term "santorum".

Also, Google has replaced spreadingsantorum.com with spreadingsantorum.com/index2.html as the main search result page, which is the main content page for the site. Google may have determined that the main home page (the one with just the definition on it) didn't have enough content on it , and penalized it accordingly.

This also could have been caused by all of the recent news around the primaries, which tends to temporarily kick up a frothy mix of stories from high-quality news agencies that will stay on page 1 of Google until the news cycle passes.

Do one of the following:

- If you claim the domain using Google's Webmaster Central tool, it will likely tell you if you've been penalized. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/…

- Hit up @mattcutts on Twitter. He's the head of search quality at Google, and will often respond publicly to high profile search ranking issues like this one.

- Replace the splash page on spreadingsantorum.com with the main blog content, and start adding new content everyday.

- Wait it out.

/Bill
More...
Posted by Bill Nordwall on February 28, 2012 at 11:42 PM · Report this
17
#13: Awesome!

Google probably caved. Now that Santorum is more than a failed senate candidate, he probably has better lawyers going after Google. But as Dan said, they've still got the urban dictionary, the Spreading Santorum blog, and the Mother Jones article ("Rick Santorum's Gay Sex Problem") in the first page alone. This isn't going to go away by removing one search result.
Posted by Nandor on February 28, 2012 at 11:45 PM · Report this
18
@14 - I assure you, we're grown up. Santorum deserves the definition bestowed upon him. And besides, it's such a.... concise definition for the substance it describes.
Posted by Tawnos on February 28, 2012 at 11:55 PM · Report this
rob! 19
@14, you forfeited the right to tell anybody to "grow up" with your completely psychotic responses (@2 and @6) to this post last week:

http://slog.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/m…

Not only did you go skidding way past the adolescent-humor mark, you were a mewling, puking, spectacularly rude baby. And you were wrong @6.
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on February 29, 2012 at 12:09 AM · Report this
20
@16(Bill), @17(Nandor), I've tried doing what Bill suggested and claiming the spreadingsantorum website with google webmaster tools, and there was no message about any penalties against the website (but I don't know if I'm doing it right). Can anyone hit mattcutts? I don't have a Twitter account (yes, I'm primitive like that).

At any rate, Bill, how would one explain the discrepancy between the search results from the English-language versions of google when compared to the others? Wouldn't any of the situations you describe automatically apply to them as well?
Posted by ankylosaur on February 29, 2012 at 12:37 AM · Report this
21
even a search for "spreading santorum" doesn't yield the spreadingsantorum.com website on the first few pages. That seems like an extremely unlikely situation if its just a google tweak and not actual censoring of that particular result.
Posted by gdcv on February 29, 2012 at 12:43 AM · Report this
22
Say it ain't so!
Posted by phgf on February 29, 2012 at 1:05 AM · Report this
23
It may also have something to do with the timeliness of the links. Soooo... Start linking again!

And "spread" it around. Embed links in replies to news stories, blogs and such, and NOT just on SLOG, not that Santorum doesn't deserve it here, too. Just that I think Google may have capped the number of references from a single domain that they'd count.

But, yeah, even if that theory is right, that wouldn't fully explain what we're looking at. It does look an awful lot like Google caved to pressure and gray-listed us or something.

For everyone: a quick refresher on embedding links:

Use the "anchor" tag in your text, plugging "http://spreadingsantorum.com" into the href field, and bracketing the single word "Santorum".

(The html interpreter here in Slog makes it very difficult to type it out for you, although some smarter geeks than me have done it before.)

If you're not sure if you've done it right, test the links you've posted and see if they work. If not, try, try again. On the other hand, if it does work, just keep doing that again and again! Everywhere, especially on news sites, your own web pages, and political blogs.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 29, 2012 at 2:00 AM · Report this
24
Sigh. This may not be a "tweak" at all. The search for spreadingsantorum doesn't even turn up the main page of the definition website on Google, AT ALL, although it does turn up the spreadingsantorum blog and allusions to it on other websites.

Google blacklisted spreadingsantorum.com, methinks.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 29, 2012 at 2:14 AM · Report this
25
Dan, this may give more info. Get one of the "tech savvy youth" to check it out.

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/…
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 29, 2012 at 2:29 AM · Report this
26
@25 NEVER MIND!!! OMG, no, don't use that page!

Shit, the description I read on Google of it indicated it was a tool to help you with rankings. I seem to have exactly the opposite!
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 29, 2012 at 2:32 AM · Report this
27
@25, 26 This might be the right site: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/…

Very sorry about previous posts. :-(
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 29, 2012 at 2:36 AM · Report this
28
Adding to 'round the world with santorum… http://spreadingsantorum.com is still #1 on google denmark.
Posted by chris in dk on February 29, 2012 at 2:54 AM · Report this
29
http://spreadingsantorum.com is still #1 on google France
Posted by lisalacfr on February 29, 2012 at 3:24 AM · Report this
Sandiai 30
@29 says, "http://spreadingsantorum.com is still #1 on google France".
Posted by Sandiai on February 29, 2012 at 3:44 AM · Report this
31
don't leave this alone.

run with it.

publicize it.

spread it.
Posted by Doot on February 29, 2012 at 4:12 AM · Report this
Megaera 32
Spreadingromney is still there. But it's fallen back to page 4 of the results since yesterday, when it was on page 2. My first thought was to wonder whether Romney had been able to pull strings that Santorum couldn't, and kill both pages now that it affects him. But since his result is still there, presumably not.
Posted by Megaera on February 29, 2012 at 4:43 AM · Report this
33
@20 Changes to Google's search results usually don't switch over all at once, they will roll them out to some portion of their audience at a time and can be ready to rollback if there are unexpected results. Google has a video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5RZOU6vK… has some interesting information on how they change there search algorithm.

In some ways it doesn't surprise me that spreadingsantorum.com was a bit fragile in its ranking. In itself, it is very low in content (on the other hand blog.spreadingsantorum.com is very rich in content, kept up to date, and in other ways would seem quantifiably a high quality web site.) A slight change in google for how they rate multiple sites in the same domain would drop the ranking of the spreaingsantorum.com spash page
Posted by aml on February 29, 2012 at 5:19 AM · Report this
34
It was still number 1 yesterday afternoon. I checked while waiting in line at the post office because two women were talking about Santorum and how they wanted to look into him more before our primary next week. I was standing behind them and said "I heard he has a Google problem." They both looked at me and one said "Really? I didn't know that!". I suggested she go home and Google his last name and left it at that. I then Googled it myself on my cell phone and it was still the first site. This was around 3:00pm EST.
Posted by CatieDoula on February 29, 2012 at 5:32 AM · Report this
35
I just checked, it's sixth. I do think it has something to do with changes at google, but hey, that's okay, there are worse sites for that jerk around
Posted by Hopiwan on February 29, 2012 at 6:16 AM · Report this
Cracker Jack 36
I just Googled it and it came in #1. I came here to mention that, then Googled it again and it was nowhere to be found. Even entering SpreadingSantorum only results in the blog. It's only when I put in www.spreadingsantorum that it's back at #1. Definitely some Google hi-jinx.
Posted by Cracker Jack on February 29, 2012 at 6:38 AM · Report this
Cracker Jack 37
Wait, now it's #1 again... I'm really confused. AND I'm Googling Santorum WAY too much.
Posted by Cracker Jack on February 29, 2012 at 6:40 AM · Report this
38
I just checked again. I'm not seeing the main page of www.spreadingsantorum.com at all.

However, I did find this Richard Cohen op-ed, from the Washington Post, reprinted in the definitely right-of-center New York Daily News ("Rick Santorum, American Mullah"):

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/rick-…
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 29, 2012 at 6:45 AM · Report this
39
Regarding different Web search results for different people: see Eli Pariser's http://www.thefilterbubble.com/
Posted by Phil M http://https://twitter.com/pmocek on February 29, 2012 at 7:37 AM · Report this
The Weasel King_(It's a long story) 40
It's not terribly surprising - now that there's a US Presidential candidate who claims his real name actually is "Penis Sexpoop", there's a bunch of stories about The Candidate Named Sexpoop rather than about the frothy mix he's taken as his stage name. More people legimitately are looking for the former Senator and thus he becomes a more valid search result.

It'll change once he drops out of the race. Once fewer people are looking for Santorum The Person and more are looking for "how do I get santorum out of my sheets without staining?" you'll see the rankings change again.

The same thing would happen if there was a "Dan Savage" as a serious candidate for president - hits on Sex Advice Columnist Dan would go down and pages about Candidate Dan would go up.
Posted by The Weasel King_(It's a long story) on February 29, 2012 at 7:53 AM · Report this
Juniper Tree 41
Canadian here:

Googled "santorum"

1)His wikipedia
2) Wikpedia neologism
3) Urban dictionary

Spreading was halfway down page two.

Posted by Juniper Tree http://walkingthehedge.net/wildgeekhang/ on February 29, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 42
Have the owners update the frontpage of the site more often.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 29, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
43
I bet Google is personalizing links based on your previous search history. That was supposed to roll out tomorrow. Try logging out of your google account and try it again, preferably in a different browser so cookie using doesn't interfere.
Posted by sf gal on February 29, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
44
Funny, I get
Spreading Santorum
Santorum's site
Urbandictionary
Posted by Root on February 29, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
45
it's a bit early in the century to be claiming anything, and comparing Santorum to Quisling, in any context, is in poor taste. Santorum is a B-list politician who is preaching to his own choir (sound familiar?) and it was amusing to make fun of him for a while. Quisling was a true evil. Dan, you're so right on sometimes (coming out to family being the most important thing you can do) and sometimes you're just a self-important ass who behaves at least as poorly as your "enemy".
Posted by myr on February 29, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
46
What the fruck is an algoribbon
Posted by algoribbon on February 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
47
Even if it is removed from Google, the damage has been done. Please see the word association for Santorum's name as culminated by The Daily Beast:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/20…
Posted by CatherineZ on February 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
48
Oh Dan, thanks so much for adding a tiny piece of funny that we all could access with a few keystrokes! I try to keep it at #1 by googling it most every day. Plus, in every tweet or FB posting concerning this most dangerous Dolt since Duhbyah, I add in some of the definition following his surname. I will continue to do so for, well, forever!
Posted by rockyjoedog on February 29, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
49
Oh Dan, thanks so much for adding a tiny piece of funny that we all could access with a few keystrokes! I try to keep it at #1 by googling it most every day. Plus, in every tweet or FB posting concerning this most dangerous Dolt since Duhbyah, I add in some of the definition following his surname. I will continue to do so for, well, forever! Cheers, Mark
Posted by rockyjoedog on February 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Mourning Dove 50
He's in Pasco today.Don't know where he will be, but speculation says he's too afraid to publish location.Planned parenthood supporters should be there.Hoping the boys who own Out and About,the only gay bar, loved by straights ,and lgbtq will rally some people to at least toss some glitter his way. Some say Washington State will be a win for Santorum over Romney for GOP candidate. `
Posted by Mourning Dove on February 29, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
51
Probably late for this, but Google search results are very personalized. Just about everyone is going to have different results.
Posted by algorhythm99 on February 29, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
52
I say this is Google pretending to do Santorum a favor while jabbing a shiv in his whiny ass. Way to go Google! (I can just hear them chuckling, "Happy now, SANTORUM? Heh, heh, heh...")
Posted by woof on February 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
53
My local LGBT rights group (glaaforum.org) was used to appearing on the first page when people searched for candidate ratings. Now they have been bumped to the second page. It would seem that Google has defined something called "official pages" and bumped every result that is not an "official result" to the second page. I think I will start using the phrase "Bing it" where before I said "Google it".
Posted by Dr.Duck on February 29, 2012 at 3:17 PM · Report this
54
This gave me a chuckle - https://twitter.com/#!/rickssantorum
Posted by Reg97 on February 29, 2012 at 4:34 PM · Report this
55
I Googled and got spreading santorum at #11. What's up with that? Did google try to kowtow to the RS campaign by promising to mix up the top 10 or something?

Anyway, I too got the urban dictionary def. at #1.

I always got spreading santorum at #1 before...
Posted by cracked on February 29, 2012 at 4:50 PM · Report this
56
For me the search results in the USA are:

#1 santorum's politico page.

#2 republican presidential primary results.

#3 Urban Dictionary with 27 definitions of santorum, most more foul then Dan Savages!!!
.
.
.
.

#14 spreadingsantorum.com but with a bypass of the main screen so as not to show the splat and definition.

Real low tactics on Google's part.
Posted by EJM on February 29, 2012 at 4:56 PM · Report this
57
For me the search results in the USA are:

#1 santorum's politico page.

#2 republican presidential primary results.

#3 Urban Dictionary with 27 definitions of santorum, most more foul then Dan Savages!!!
.
.
.
.

#14 spreadingsantorum.com but with a bypass of the main screen so as not to show the splat and definition.

Real low tactics on Google's part.
Posted by EJM on February 29, 2012 at 4:59 PM · Report this
58
if you are not seeing stars, but instead santorum, you are not doing it right
Posted by leathersmith on February 29, 2012 at 6:42 PM · Report this
debug 59
Probably said already but Google results are customized to the user. If you're a google apps (gmail, docs, etc) user that customization will be more dramatic when logged in. But even to a regular google user I think they have some way of tracking your search history to customize your search results.

Probably only true way to get the default is to log out of Google and clear your browser's cache before a search.

Posted by debug on February 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM · Report this
60
Fuck Google. Even if this isn't deliberate, they've already castrated their search engine and pulled that privacy bullshit that goes into effect tomorrow.
Posted by Chase on February 29, 2012 at 11:49 PM · Report this
lambcannon 61
#7 among the non-paid advertising links this a.m.
Posted by lambcannon on March 1, 2012 at 7:28 AM · Report this
John Horstman 62
According to the updates to the linked SearchEngineLand piece, Google is claiming this has something to do with their new SafeSearch implementation, which pushes SafeSearch filtering even when you set it to disabled (now, if your search terms are not 'adult' according to Google, Google de-ranks 'adult' results; don't ask me why spreadingsantorum.com is at all 'adult' - except the fact that kids may have little interest in politics or anal sex - or why the Urban Dictionary page isn't 'adult' if spreadingsantorum.com is; also, given that lower-case santorum is far and away the more widely used definition of the word, I'm not sure why a search for "santorum" isn't itself considered 'adult'). Looks like Google might be engineering itself into irrelevance by censoring its results without direct user requests for it to do so. If I want sexy pictures of feet when I do a search for "feet" without having to limit my results by including additional 'adult' search terms, I'm going to have a lot more difficulty finding them with Google. Yahoo!, you have an opening.
Posted by John Horstman on March 1, 2012 at 8:42 AM · Report this
mydriasis 63
Canadian here... I get

1. Wiki for Santorum
2. Wiki for Neologism Campaign
3. Spreading Santorum
4. His actual site.

You guys know what this means right? His wiki page needs some 'updating'
Posted by mydriasis on March 1, 2012 at 4:20 PM · Report this
64
@ 62: Interesting. Add another item to my Fuck Google list. I'm not a child, I don't need them trying to be my parents.
Posted by Chase on March 1, 2012 at 9:14 PM · Report this
geoz 65
I'm disappointed. But... the run was good.
Posted by geoz on March 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM · Report this
ArtBasketSara 66
Today's result for searching santorum on google yielded - Campaign for "santorum" neologism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Up from #2 yesterday!
Posted by ArtBasketSara on March 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
67
another headline that kinda has a ring to it: Romney catches Santorum in Ohio dead heat.
Posted by PhranticPhil on March 4, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this

Add a comment