Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Santorum's Website After Iowa and his "Google Problem"

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, January 5 2012

Over at Search Engine Land, there's more baseball-insidery on Rick Santorum's online presence during and immediately after his big night in Iowa.

As the former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator came within eight votes of winning the Iowa caucus, his website's servers struggled to handle the load — but that being the key time to raise money, the campaign redirected traffic to an off-site donation page, sending any capacity problems elsewhere and raising what his campaign has said was $1 million in one day. Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan writes that sending all traffic off-site also hurt his chances of keeping his official site above ones that contribute to his infamous "Google problem."

"... By dropping the web site and pointing everything over to the donation form, it’s as if the Santorum campaign has taken all the 'votes' its earned over the past few months and tossed them all away," Sullivan writes.

The campaign later dropped the redirect and replaced its front page with a splash page to collect donations. I'd imagine that when you're busy bolstering a cash-strapped campaign with $1 million in donations, it's hard to worry too much about page rank dropping for a few hours.

But as more people pay attention to Santorum, more people will Google his last name only — and, as Sullivan notes, the way the campaign is currently handling search means his official site ranks below pages that turn the name into a sexual neologism.

Sullivan offers a solution: Google, he writes, should add a notice to search results for "Santorum," as the search engine sometimes does when search terms are known to return potentially offensive links.

A source close to the campaign tells me Santorum's website will be better prepared for its next traffic spike, should one arrive.

News Briefs

RSS Feed friday >

First POST: Revisions

Tim Wu says we shouldn't be so pessimistic about lobbying; Obama writes a thank you note to reddit; Ted Cruz wants to be the Uber of politics; Llamas!; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Impossibles

The FCC vote; a proxy Democratic primary battle in Chicago; Gov Andrew Cuomo begins deleting all state employee emails more than 90 days old; men talking about women in tech; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Off the Books

Chicago's "black site"; The New York Times reports "little guys" like Tumblr and Reddit have won the fight for net neutrality but fails to mention Free Press or Demand Progress; Hillary Clinton fan products on Etsy to inspire campaign slogans?; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Challenges

How Silicon Valley donors are thinking about Hillary Clinton 2016; Yahoo's security chief locks horns with the head of the NSA; Instagram location data catches a Congressman with his hand in the till; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Bows

CitizenFour wins best doc; Ken Silverstein resigned from First Look Media and took to Facebook to vent; why we need more Congressional staffers; who profits from the net neutrality debate; banning PowerPoint presentations; and much, much more. GO

More