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Rick Santorum Sees Surge in Searches, Stays Frothy In Various Search Engines

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Rick Santorum Sees Surge in Searches, Stays Frothy In Various Search Engines
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If you follow U.S. politics at all (or at this point, even turn on a TV), you probably know that Rick Santorum had a good Tuesday night. The former Pennsylvania Senator swept the primary contests, winning Colorado with 40.2% of the vote, Minnesota with 44.8%, and Missouri with 55.2%.

Santorum focused a lot of time and energy in these three states leading up to Tuesday night, and it appears to have paid off. Meanwhile, front-runner Mitt Romney’s camp continues to say that they didn’t really focus much attention in those contests and Santorum’s victories shouldn’t be given too much thought.

For what seems like the 100th time, Rick Santorum is somehow rising back into the national conversation. And we all know that with renewed interest comes curiosity. And with curiosity comes internet searches.

And the searches have come, according to Google’s new Politics & Elections dashboard. According to a Google+ post, Rick Santorum saw a surge in search traffic in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri in the last day leading up to voting. When you factor in the entire prior week, his search traffic increased by 262% in Colorado, 386% in Missouri, and a staggering 515% in Minnesota.

This bested the search growth of the other GOP candidates by more than double.

On one hand, the Santorum camp can say “awesome, people are searching for me. I’m relevant!” And on the other hand, there has to be a part of Rick Santorum that kind of cringes every time he hears that his search traffic has spiked.

That’s because Rick Santorum has a Google problem – one that we’ve covered extensively.

A quick rundown of the issue: A few years ago, popular gay blogger Dan Savage created a site called “Spreading Santorum.” The site defines the word “Santorum” as “the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter than is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.” Why did he do this? Because Santorum (a staunch social conservative) had said some pretty offensive things about homosexuality, comparing it to bestiality among other things. Although Santorum maintains that his words were taken out of context – it doesn’t really matter. The site achieved prime real estate on Google searches for “Santorum.”

It wasn’t exactly a Google bomb in the classical sense, but SEO tactics raised its visibility and now it is in the first results you see when you search “Santorum” on Google (third when you search “Rick Santorum”).

So think about it. Every time a voter searches for Rick Santorum on Google, it’s highly likely that they see this lewd definition. And let’s be honest – a large percentage of voters searching for Santorum might not understand how or why that result is so prominently displayed.

And as I told you back at the beginning of the year, Santorum’s “Google Problem” is not really limited to Google. In fact, Santorum has a Bing and Yahoo problem as well.

Santorum contacted Google a while back about his problem, to which they basically said sorry, we don’t remove content from search results except in very limited circumstances. and the fact is, Spreading Santorum isn’t at the top of search result through some sort of secret agenda. It’s there because it’s one of the most relevant results out there for Rick Santorum.

It’s impossible that voters searching for Santorum fail to see this result. But he just won based on the support of conservative voters in three states. Is it possible that the “problem” isn’t that much of a problem for Santorum? I still feel that in time, however, his raunchy result will end up negatively impacting his campaign.

Rick Santorum Sees Surge in Searches, Stays Frothy In Various Search Engines
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  • http://www.webpronews.com/ Mike McDonald

    Way too early to read anything with the words ‘frothy’ and ‘anal’ in the same article – let alone the same sentence. – Christ, man… what’s wrong with you?

    Despite having stopped reading at that point, I think I’m taking away all I really need to. Santorum gets a lot attention in search, but it’s not great attention.

    Assuming that’s correct, it’s remarkably similar to his presence in media is it not? He pops up a lot in both cases, but at the end of the day, he’s equally irrelevant.

  • http://www.semantic-ad.com Austin Seofirm

    Evidently the Santorum folks still need some help with SEO. They’re still only #3 in organic search for ‘santorum’. However, the #1 PPC ad for ‘senator sanitarium’ is a Rush Limbaugh testimonial for Santorum.

  • Santra

    he needs some more help with Search Engine Optimization!!!

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