The Results Of The Conservative Blogger Google Bomb

Chris Bowers over at the Daily Kos organized a Google Bomb — that he didn’t call a Google Bomb — against GOP candidates. He got some attention for it, although I’m not sure how effective it was. Their system for pushing it seemed confusing, they didn’t talk about it all that much on the blog, and by the time they got started, early voting had already begun in some places.

What people didn’t know was that before Bowers even announced his project publicly, I’d already beaten him to the punch on the conservative side. However, unlike Bowers, I didn’t announce that I was organizing a Google Bomb this year. Reason being, they tend to draw a lot of attention. While getting the publicity is nice, I was afraid that Google might manually step in and kill the results if it caught their eye.

So, I paid a couple of people to do research on all the competitive House & Senate Races. They came up with AT LEAST one article on each race. From there, I worked with conservative bloggers behind the scenes to get linkage going on those particular articles. Although I didn’t demand absolute secrecy, I did let them know that if word got out, there was a possibility that Google might step in and kill our work. Because of that, people were willing to keep quiet until the election.

The idea behind the Google bomb was to drive negative articles about Democrats in key races onto the front page of Google’s search rankings. Then, when undecided voters did research on those candidates, we were hoping that they’d see the articles and choose to vote for the Republican. The goal was to drive anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand votes from the Democrat to the Republican in key races.

So, how’d we do? Not as well as I had hoped. But still, we did have some success. With the following candidates, we managed to drive a negative article about them to the front page of their Google Search rankings (I had someone tally up the results this week-end):

Travis Childers
Dina Titus
Harry Teague
Steve Driehaus
Chris Carney
Ciro Rodriguez
Denny Heck
Mike Oliviero
Julie Lassa
Joe Garcia
Stephen Pougnet
Lori Edwards
Ravi Sangisetty
Pat Miles
Matthew Zeller
Manan Trivedi
Brett Carter
Suzan Delbene
Colleen Hanabusa
Richard Blumenthal
Ron Wyden
Heath Schuler
Charlie Wilson
Betty Sutton
John Salazar
Debbie Halvorson
Gary McDowell
Melissa Bean
Carolyn McCarthy
Jim Himes
Sanford Bishop, Jr.
Walter Minnick
Martin Heinrich

With these candidates, we managed to drive articles to page 2 or 3 of their search rankings. My guess is that those articles probably had a minimal overall impact, but you never know:

Carol Shea-Porter: Page 3
Ann Kuster: Page 2
Larry Kissell: Page 2
Mary Jo Kilroy: Page 2
Zack Space: Page 3
Bryan Lentz: Page 2
Patrick Murphy: Page 3
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin: Page 3
Chet Edwards: Page 2
Glenn Nye: Page 2
Steve Kagen: Page 3
Steve Raby: page 2
Ami Bera: Page 2
Trent Van Haaften: Page 3
John Callahan: Page 3
Jon Hulburd: Page 2
Tarryl Clark: Page 2
Tom White: Page 3
Matthew Zeller
Paula Brooks: Page 2
Robin Carnahan: Page 2
Paul Hodes: Page 2
Scott McAdams: Page 3
Kendrick Meek: Page 3
Jack Conway: Page 2
Chris Coons: Page 2
Mike McMahon: Page 3
Bill Owens: Page 2
Kurt Schrader: Page 3
Mark Critz: Page 2
Lincoln Davis: Page 3
Rick Boucher: Page 2
Gerry Connolly: Page 2
Rick Larsen: Page 2
Ann Kirkpatrick: Page 2
Jerry McNerney: Page 3
Betsy Markey: Page 2
Allen Boyd: Page 2
Bill Foster: Page 3
Leonard Boswell: Page 2
Dennis Cardoza: Page 2
Christopher Murphy
Bruce Braley; Page 2
Dave Loebsack: Page 2
John Yarmuth: Page 2
Chellie Pingree: Page 2
Tim Walz: Page 3
Russ Carnahan: Page 2
Rush Holt: Page 2
Dan Maffei: Page 2
Bob Etheridge: Page 2
Mike McIntyre: Page 2
Tim Holden: Page 2
David Cicilline: Page 3
Ron Kind: Page 3
Bobby Bright: Page 3
Gabrielle Giffords: Page 3
Ike Skelton: Page 2
Martin Heinrich: Page 2

So, we generated a grand total of 32 front page links and 78 page 2 and page 3 links. Again, not as good as I hoped, but is it possible that it made a difference in some of these really tight races? Some of these races were won by less than 2000 votes. Could an unflattering article that people saw when they did a Google Search sway a thousand voters to go from a Democrat to Republican? We can’t know for sure, but maybe. All in all, this turned out to be a worthwhile endeavor.

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