Santorum Beat His Google Problem, Sort Of

By

"BREAKING: Rick Santorum announces end of the most elaborate SEO effort ever," political writer Julian Sanchez tweeted this afternoon. In a lot of ways, it's true: Santorum is not next in line for anything politically, but even as he suspends his campaign for president, at least he's no longer known primarily by Google as "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex."

That was the less-than-flattering definition bestowed upon the anti-gay, anti-porn politician by sex columnist Dan Savage in 2003, and the Spreading Santorum site sat for years atop the Google (and other search engine) results for "Rick Santorum" and "Santorum," not budging even when the man was destroyed in a Senate race. Early last year, the candidate "sounded slightly defeated when asked about it," and complained, "The Internet allows for this type of vulgarity to circulate."

And yet, through sheer force of will, aided by eleven primary victories and more than a year in the news cycle, the nightmare is finally over. Or at least it's not as bad as it was: A Google search for "Santorum" today, as seen above, now puts the politician's Wikipedia page first, followed by the Wikipedia entry for … the gross kind of Santorum. His official site comes up third, and Spreading Santorum only after that. Adding "Rick" to the search drops the dirty definition to the second half of the first page. Who even looks there?

It's not a complete victory for Santorum, but it's something, and it could pave the way for a future career as an SEO expert — they don't really know what they're talking about either.