Call to Action: Google-Bombing the Election
by Chris Bowers, Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 09:32:40 AM EDT
First, I want to thank everyone who has participated in the Use It Or Lose It campaign, designed to drive Democratic money from safe incumbents toward competitive Democratic challengers. That campaign will continue throughout next week, and we will work to make sure Democratic challengers, especially those outside of our top twenty-five targets, have as much funding as possible to carry out their campaigns.
Next, I would like to announce a second major campaign that I would like to have up and running by Tuesday morning, at the absolute latest. As with Use It Or Lose It, this campaign will need your help to succeed. I have tentatively named it Google Bombing The Election.
The utilization of Google Adwords and simultaneous, widespread embedded hyperlinks in order to drive as many voters as possible toward the most damning, non-partisan article written on the Republican candidate in seventy key US Senate and House races. The campaign will run from Tuesday, October 24th until Tuesday, November 7th.
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the number one way that voters use the Internet for political action is to search for information on candidates. During the final two weeks of the election, it is reasonable to expect that as many as twenty million voters will be searching for information on candidates online. During this key time, this project will help push the most negative article written by a non-partisan media source on all key Republican candidates to the forefront of any search for that candidate. The negative article will appear both high on all Google searches for the candidates, and as an advertisement that appears whenever anyone searches for that candidate. By giving this article two prominent locations on Google searches for the candidate, and because it will come from a non-partisan source, it will increase the likelihood that the article will be seen and trusted by those searching for information on the candidate.
The campaign will proceed as follows:
- Step One: With help form readers at Dailykos and MyDD, I will compile a list of seventy article, one for each targeted race. Every article will focus on a different Republican candidate, and will be written by as generally trusted a news source as possible. It will also present as unflattering a view on the Republican candidate as possible. All of these articles will be placed into a database that I will maintain with the help of willing volunteers.
- Step Two: Once the database is complete, BlogPac will purchase Google Adwords that will place each negative article on the most common searches for each Republican candidate. Simultaneously, I will produce an article on MyDD that embeds that negative article into a hyperlink that names the Republican candidate. I will then send a copy of that post out to as many bloggers as possible, who can also place the post on their blogs. One posting of this article will be enough.
- Step Three: All further discussion of the Republican candidates in question on all participating blogs should include an embedded hyperlink that will increase the Google search rank of the article on the given candidate.
If this program is successful, after the election the advertising and Google-bombing program will continue. However, instead of targeting Republican candidates, it will be done in order to benefit and increase the search engine visibility of the very best local, progressive blogs around the country.
The list of Republican candidates to target can be found here: Republican candidates in key House and Senate races. It is my personal top-seventy target list, but if I am going to pay for it, that is what I want to use. Forgive me that one indulgence, especially since this project will create my own private FEC reporting hell. Also, Wikipedia is also an excellent starting point for summaries of scandals involving members of Congress, and might even be the best article we have. For example, I think that John Doolittle isn't a bad embedded link.
If I were to engage on this project without any help, it would take me weeks to compile the necessary articles. However, in this case, we do not have weeks. Thus, I am reaching out to you for help. Please, if you have any time to spare today, look through the list of Republicans and find some damning articles on them written by non-partisan, trusted sources. The more you can find, the better. Post the results of your search in the comments. This is a project I will be working on over the next three days, and any help you can give would be appreciated. This may not swing many votes, but remember that in 1994 Republicans won 25 seats from Democrats by less than 10,000 votes. Incumbents are generally defeated only by small margins, and majorities are built on slim victories. This is a project that could help swing a decent number of votes, which in close elections could make a difference.
Please, if you think this is a worthy cause, get searching, and post your results. If, on the off chance that you have a significant amount of time to spend on this project today, please email me at email@example.com, and I will set you up with other highly dedicated volunteers as part of the core, "A-team" conducting and compiling this research. Together, we set up Use It Or Lose It in just two days, and I think we can do the same with this project.
Update: You can follow the progress of the project on this Google Spreadsheet. However, what I really need are volunteers who can dedicate a lot of time to this. Please, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
Update 2: We have articles for 15 25 of the 70 already! This going going great! Please, keep helping.
Update 3: I want to emphasize to people that I am looking for NEGATIVE ARTICLES ON REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES. Not process stuf. Not favorable stuff on Democratic candidates. Not really endorsements. This is oppo stuff. Look for that.
Update 4: Up to 36 now. More than halfway done!
Update 5: Step one complete. You guys rock. I'm taking a break, but I'll be back to start sorting through this in a bit.