Suddenly, after 8 years Dan Savage’s page dedicated to the definition of “Santorum” as “the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.” no longer appears in the top search results (although the blog, connected to the site currently ranks fifth with Rick Santorum’s official election site now being number 1 in search results.
Dan Savage weighs in on the sudden ranking change:
“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?”
Back2Stonewall asked a Search Engine Optimization expert their opinion on this and they can only conclude that Google finally bucking to pressure to deliver a more “relevant” result and decided to push the result down Savages’s page to make the search results more palatable to the right, and lessen the voice of criticism from a minority group. That’s alarming, but not remotely surprising given the state of Google in 2012.