Google Bomb The Elections: My Statement For the Press

Unless I have already agreed to give you an interview on the subject, from now until Election Day I am refusing all media inquiries on the subject of Google Bombing. I have written extensively about the subject on MyDD, from which you are free to quote. For those to whom I have not agreed to give an interview, and who would still like more on the subject, here is my final statement on the topic for the press:Search engine optimization has been a part of political campaigns for several years now. Smart campaigns have been using it for some time. While it is a new topic for discussion in the media as a result of my campaign, it was even rampant during the 2004 election, when conservative bloggers Google Bombed John Kerry as a "flip flopper," with "waffles," and progressive bloggers Google Bombed George Bush as a "miserable failure." If you don't believe me, feel free to try out those keywords in a Google search. The bombs are still active.

There are three main differences between the campaign I started and other, similar campaigns. First, I did it out in the open with full transparency on my blog, using my name, and with my email in full view. Second, it is much more wide ranging, since it has multiple, simultaneous targets. Third, and most importantly, instead of targeting campaign talking points such as "flip flopper" or "miserable failure," this campaign worked to only use non-partisan media reports. No talking points. No opinion columns. A bare minimum use of alternative media. In other words, this campaign works solely to push news reports made by trusted, mainstream news outlets into the foreground during the final two weeks of the campaign season.

At a time when what conservative pundits think about Michael J. Fox has somehow become campaign "news," quite frankly I believe that what I am doing is more substantive and fact-based than much of the reporting we have recently seen on the campaign trail. I am also highly suspicious that I am receiving so many media requests because many might want to use my very small campaign as a way to paint progressives and Democrats as a whole in a negative light. Simply put, I do not trust your motives for wanting to write on this campaign.

Finally, I am running multiple campaigns at the end of this cycle, with absolutely no help outside of volunteers from the progressive netroots. Not only does this mean that my actions are my own, it also means that I do not have a lot of extra time to field interviews every hour. It is more important for me to see these campaigns succeed, and for Democrats to retake Congress, than it is for me to receive press on my efforts. We will see soon enough whether or not these campaigns had their desired effect. Right now, I don't know if they have. At the very least, I would like to see how well these campaigns work before I engage in further discussions concerning them to the press. I will be more than happy to talk with you about this the day after the election, or even to discuss Use It Or Lose It right now. Currently, however, discussions of Google Bombs are off the table.

Best,
Chris Bowers And that's that. It is time for me--and you--to get back to work. To participate in the Google Bomb yourself, click here or here. To see how the Google Bomb is progressing, click here. For more information on why searh engine optimization is so important, please check out The New Politics Institute New Tools Campaign.

Tags: Activism, googlebomb, Media, netroots (all tags)

Comments

17 Comments

good work Chris

I for one would not have participated in this effort had it been mere sloganeering.  That the sites we have chosen to elevate in google rankings are credible and factual is hugely contigent in this.

To the media:  If you are at all honest, you will not try and paint this as juvenile smear tactics.  Google is a tool that voters are using to get information on candidates and we are just trying to ensure they get factually critical data on this set of endangered Republicans.

Chris dropped a number of Republicans off the list for want of credible mainstream press sources detailing their questionable activities and positions.  That should demonstrate the sincerity and honesty of this effort.

by scientician 2006-10-26 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Google Bomb The Elections: My Statement For

Chris,

Any updates on Use it or Lose it?

by Fran for Dean 2006-10-26 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Google Bomb The Elections: My Statement For
It will be up in about 45 minutes.
by Chris Bowers 2006-10-26 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Metadata is hardly any secret

Should any members of the press stop by to read Comments, I'd suggest a couple of the following activities if you've never taken a peek at metadata in a web page before:

If you are using IE, go to VIEW, then pull down to select SOURCE.  A new page should appear in your browser showing the source HTML code for that web page; then look for 'keywords' or 'metadata'.  (Keywords are one type of metadata, and they function in a web page the very same way that Library of Congress terms function in the indexing of a book.)   Metadata is used by search engines to index and prioritize web pages.

If you are using Firefox, go to VIEW, then pull down and select VIEW SOURCE.  Read any metadata in the page.

If you are using Safari, go to VIEW, then pull down to VIEW SOURCE.

If you are using Opera, you work for an organization that must have a kick-ass IT division.  Lucky you ;-)

Search engine optimization ain't rocket science, and it sure ain't secret.  People have been doing it for years now, and it's critical for web metrics.

Chris, thx for your efforts -- sorry that I'm not able to help on this project.

by readerOfTeaLeaves 2006-10-26 10:10AM | 0 recs
It's a blatant & dishonest ploy ...

It's a blatant & dishonest election-year ploy ... to try to connect people with facts about the candidates.  

Because as everyone knows, facts have a liberal bias.

by Bearpaw 2006-10-26 10:13AM | 0 recs
Nice response

Because it not only tells reporters you won't talk to them now, it challenges them to a level or credibility in what they do report.

I hope Media Matters monitors, Chris, for this might be very important in the discussions about free speech and media that are coming.

by zic 2006-10-26 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Google Bomb The Elections

Your whole plan was announced and developed in sunlight.  Other folks just wish they'd thought of it first!  Keep up the good work, Chris!

by Laurin from SC 2006-10-26 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: "Trusted" MSM?

LOL @ "this campaign works solely to push news reports made by trusted, mainstream news outlets"

Neither side views the MSM as "trusted".

by NJIndependent 2006-10-26 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Google Bomb The Elections:

Just FYI, Chris... Flip Flopper was not the John Kerry bomb... In fact the Primary Page on Flip Flopper is WWW.AmericanProgress.org.  What you were thinking of was Waffles, which takes you now to JohnKerry.com.  However, Miserable Failure does still bring you to Bush's biography.  I would change your release, if you are going to tell people to test and see if the google bomb still works.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-10-26 11:50AM | 0 recs
Heck, just plain "failure" works...

..."miserable" is optional.  Just using "failure" gets GWB's bio on the White House site.  In fact, it works better, since Carter's White House bio is #2 for "miserable failure" (after GWB's), due to counter-Google bombing by conservatives, but Carter doesn't show up under just plain "failure".  (Michael Moore's website shows up halfway down the first page in both searches.)

This is pretty impressive, considering that that is a fairly common noun.

by Geotpf 2006-10-26 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Google Bomb The Elections: My Statement For th

"Simply put, I do not trust your motives for wanting to write on this campaign."

That's very sensible of you and probably quite accurate.

by billybob 2006-10-26 03:20PM | 0 recs
Unfortuantly...

...this Google bombing seems to be failing, possibly due to it happening too late-not enough time for Google to fully digest the links.  I searched for several of the canidates in the list of links, and other than some of the Wikipedia links (which regularly show up highly normally), none of the targeted articles showed up on the first page of any of the searches I tried.

by Geotpf 2006-10-26 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Unfortuantly...

I don't think the bomb was a failure, I think google put in some "safeguards".  Two nights ago, I saw Kyl's article as #1, then yesterday it was 6 and now it is off page.  My guess is Google did something to clear out those bombs for the time being.  Of course I could be wrong.

by yitbos96bb 2006-10-27 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Unfortuantly...

I was reading a few things and noticed that they said they don't usually change things manually... which implies that if they want to they can.  My guess is due to the election and to the widespread media attention, they did indeed manually manipulate things.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-10-27 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Unfortuantly...

One might recommend changing the linked articles though.  A change every few days may be effective.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-10-27 08:11AM | 0 recs
Google only updates once a month.

Google only updates once a month.

by delmoi 2006-10-27 04:08PM | 0 recs
Hello?

Google updates once a month, from data collected that month.  It's very unlikely that any articles you 'googlebomb' between now and the election will have any effect at all.

Sorry.

by delmoi 2006-10-27 04:07PM | 0 recs

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