Googlebomb John McCain

Cross-posted on Dailykos--Chris

If you are anything like me, you are sick and tired of the national image of John McCain as some sort of independent, principled, Republican moderate. Examples of McCain's departure from the Bush administration's agenda are truly few and far between. Despite reports to the contrary, he has consistently supported and facilitated the most egregiously radical aspects of that agenda. Further, in an attempt to improve his prospects for the Republican nomination in 2008, he has spent much of the last three years sucking up to the theocon wing of the Republican Party that he once decried. Most famously, this included retracting comments he made about Jerry Falwell and then speaking at Falwell's Liberty University. Pandering to extremists you once denounced in order to improve your electoral prospects hardly sounds "principled" to me.

What especially irks me about McCain's pure as the driven snow national image is how the Washington pundit elites have continued to help manufacture it. McCain is the most frequent guest on Sunday morning talk shows, whose hosts clearly have done a terrible job of exposing the truth about him. We simply can't trust the gatekeepers of our conventional wisdom to treat John McCain with any skepticism whatsoever. I am sure we will see much of the same lapdog treatment from the pundit elite when it comes to the McCain doctrine, otherwise known as escalation in Iraq. Already, pundits are bending over backward to label this idea serious, and the people who support it as principled.

Well, I say enough is enough. The line on McCain's national image will be drawn here, and drawn now. Today, I am proposing a long-term, anti-McCain googlebomb project similar to the Googlebomb the Elections campaign I founded in 2006. Read the extended entry for details.
The goal on this project is the search engine optimization of articles from established news sources that tell the truth on John McCain. I want to make certain that when people search for information about John McCain online, that they are presented with the truth on John McCain. I hope you will join me in this campaign. Here is what it entails:
  • 1. Finding a recent new article from an established news sources that focuses on McCain's support of George Bush. I have determined that the first such article will be the beautifully titled McCain Defend Bush's Iraq Strategy from the Associated Press. It is hard to get any better than that. In fact, it was seeing that headline today that gave me the idea to conduct this campaign.

  • 2. For an extended period of time, several weeks if necessary, having as many people on the internet as possible embed a hyperlink to the chosen article whenever they use the word McCain, John McCain, Senator John McCain, McCain 2008, or any other popular search term on McCain.

  • 3. Having as many bloggers as possible place that same embedded hyperlink into the templates of their blog. Instructions on how to do this, and why it is important, can be found here. This will multiply the impact of any Googlebomb on McCain several hundred times. This process is also helped if people on community websites place the appropriate embeded McCain hyperlink in the signature line of their user interface.

  • 4. Monitoring the progress on the current McCain Googlebomb until it moves into the top five results on McCain in Google. Once this is accomplished, and it should only take a few weeks, we then start the process over again at step one with a different news article that tells the truth on McCain.
It is my goal is that this campaign will allow us to dominate articles on McCain in the top twenty Google searches on McCain. Hopefully, we can have tweleve such articles by Labor Day, 2007. By flooding internet searches on McCain with the truth about McCain, we can go a long way toward defining McCain's image to the national electorate. And the best part is, we will do it with the truth.

At this time, I do not intend to conduct any other search engine optimization campaigns on potential 2008 Republican hopefuls. Frankly, I do not find any other hopefuls to pose a particularly serious threat to a potential progressive nominee (Giuliani ain't gonna win the Republican nomination). While I am interested in conducting search engine optimization campaigns against Republicans in key House and Senate races, at this time we don't know which races those will be. As appealing as starting early on 2008 congressional races may be, let's give that at least a couple of weeks, in order to build up a useful record, before moving forward on that. I would also prefer if this project was handled by local bloggers who will cover local campaigns.

Let me say a quick word to Republican netroots activists about this campaign: please, join us. I know that the conservative and libertarian netroots does not like John McCain very much, as evidenced by the recent GOP bloggers poll that gave McCain a heavily negative rating on their "acceptability" scale (MCCain finished behind only Hagel and Pataki). While I know a lot of you did not like my Googlebomb campaign back in the fall, in this case we can join together in common cause to redefine McCain to the nation. Feel free to use articles that better express why you are upset with McCain.

Let me say a quick word to the established media about this campaign: watch and learn. The coverage of the Googlebomb campaign during the 2006 elections was extremely negative, so much so that I had to pull the plug on media interviews about it during the final two weeks of the campaign. However, while viewed negatively, this campaign is based entirely on directing people to factual reporting from established media outlets. Further, you have had the chance to define McCain in your mediums--now netroots activists will work to define McCain in our medium. If you have a problem with us spreading facts in our realm when you refuse to do the same in yours, then tough.

Let me say a word to Democratic candidates: don't let this happen to you. I know quite a few of the high level internet consultants for Democratic presidential contenders, and I am confident that those people I know are already aware of the importance of this strategy to any online campaign. However, those campaigns, both Presidential and otherwise, who are not aware of this strategy, make certain that you protect your candidate's image within search engines. This sort of campaign is not difficult to execute, and you can end up on the wrong side of a Googlebomb campaign if you do not protect your search engine flank.


Anyway, if you are reading this, I hope you are with me. Add "the truth about McCain" to your signature. Add John McCain to the template of your blog. Whenever you write about John McCain in a post, diary or comment, make sure to use the appropriate embedded hyperlink. Let's draw the line on John McCain's image, and let's draw it now. Let the "internets" ring loud and clear with the truth.

Tags: Activism, Googlebomb 2008, John McCain (all tags)



Tips Welcome
And not just for me. If this is the sort of project you like, please give a small five or ten dollar tip to BlogPac. We will be doing stuff like this all year.
by Chris Bowers 2007-01-12 08:05AM | 0 recs
No time like the present

It's never too early to start exposing the truth on McCain - the guy has a leg up on everyone, if only because the media just gushes over him.

I also think that if McCain does lose the GOP nomination, there is a good chance that he'll do the Unity thing w/ Lieberman (even though Lieberman is not a Democrat, strictly speaking - not even an 'independent Democrat').

Any thoughts on co-ordinating a googlebomb of Lieberman while your at it?  It's just... I hate Lieberman so much...

by teknofyl 2007-01-12 08:30AM | 0 recs
Oops... forgot the link

John McCain

by teknofyl 2007-01-12 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: No time like the present
Lieberman has already been hit pretty hard, and isn't running in 2008 (unless he is McCain's VP). I'm not ready to work on that righ tnow.

But there would be a wealth of material to use if we did go forward on that.
by Chris Bowers 2007-01-12 08:39AM | 0 recs
it'll never happen

Let's just say this all together one more time: John McCain is not a maverick.  After being smeared by Bush and Rove in 2000, when McCain'shis maverick reputation might have been somewhat deserved, McCain has done nothing but tilt rightwards, and suck up to the worst elements of his, John McCain's, party.

Why would John McCain spend six years destroying any shred of credibility he might have aligning himself so completely with Bush, to the point where Bush's war strategy is named not the Bush Doctrine, but the McCain Doctrine... why would McCain go through all that then run as an independent, destroying the chances of a party he's just spent six years sucking up to?  It doesn't add up.

Lieberman would totally run as a third party if he thought there was any support there.  If it'll hurt the Democratic party, Joe's all over it.

by schroeder 2007-01-12 11:45AM | 0 recs
Because he got his ass kicked in the primary

I think it could happen if McCain loses the primary early on.  Obviously a 'Unity' run would have many challenges, including state-by-state barriers to entry.  Whether there would be time following even a very early realization that the primaryw as a lost cause is debatable.  However McCain does have lots of love from the M$M and a certain segment of (probably shrinking) voters, including many who would support a tcket w/ Lieberman.

You are right, though... this would not be Plan A for McCain.  Clearly a major party nomination has incredible advantages while 3rd Party or Indy campaigns are a longshot at best, regardless of the name on the ticket.  But... this guy clearly wants to get in the White House, and this is the year that he probably has the best chance.  If the GOP turns on him, he would have little reason to not go for broke a-la-Lieberman.

He's gotta be saying to himself, "If a loser like Joementum can do it, I know I can!"

by teknofyl 2007-01-12 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Googlebomb John McCain

Sir as soon as I can it's yours. I used to respect John McCain but now the sight of him makes me gag. I am so glad we are taking this up early. Lets we should eventually begin doing all republican prospects and most visible staff. Like that a-hole McCain hired the one that got caught doing illegal campaign trickery. His name will come to me.

by Abraham Running For Congress When I Turn 25 2007-01-12 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Googlebomb John McCain
Good idea--hit McCain's staff too. That sounds like a good second target.
by Chris Bowers 2007-01-12 08:40AM | 0 recs
Update page?

Something to list previous targets and the current target?

by teknofyl 2007-01-12 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Update page?
As time goes on, we can update. But for now I'll just use the tags.
by Chris Bowers 2007-01-12 08:40AM | 0 recs
Protecting America from McCain's false image


Could not agree more.  By doing this we also take some out of the sails of all those bozos and pundits (but I repeat myself) who foolishly treat McCain, or his ideas, seriously.

McCain has the dubious distinction of never being right (correct) on any issue of significance while also being on at least two sides of those issues he continually fails to master.


by Caoimhin Laochdha 2007-01-12 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Protecting America from McCain's false image

And I forgot to add:

How, in a comment posting, do I make the link: 2/ap3324617.html

read as a click through titled as follows:
"The truth about McCain"


by Caoimhin Laochdha 2007-01-12 09:13AM | 0 recs
Will you actually be helping McCain?

"Examples of McCain's departure from the Bush administration's agenda are truly few and far between."

But they are significant differences, vital to US national interest and ones on which he has gained bi-partisan support.

1. Energy - Kerry/McCain energy bill to cut US oil usage introduced as alternative to Bush Jr energy bill. McCain has been big on this topic for years and has a real track record.  This is oil, Middle East, US national security, trade deficit, jobs, terrorism issue.

2. Federal Deficit/Debt - Kerry/McCain budget bill to cut US Federal deficit.  Another issue on which McCain has long track record.

3. Campaign Finance reform - McCain/Feingold which  did pass and which McCain forced Bush Jr to sign.

Democrats need to focus on putting out better, real policy solutions on those issues vs. grousing over their perceptions of McCain's image.

Two ways to beat McCain.

1. He was wrong on Iraq and continues to be wrong and has been key in supporting Bush Jr failed policies in Iraq leading to what Bush Jr describes as a "catastrophe".  Whatever "experience" McCain claims in national security, military etc. certainly failed to produce the right decision about Iraq.  Better to go with someone who was right about Iraq.

2. Have better policy solutions on issues like cutting US oil usage by 50% in 10 years, balance the budget, pay down the debt, universal single payer health care system, free TV and radio for all political candidates (cuts campaign costs dramatically).

by BrionLutz 2007-01-12 09:14AM | 0 recs
Are Google bombs a 'moral' use of web?

You have to wonder if Googlebombs are the equivalent of spamming the search engines.

Personally I hate it when I'm looking for info and the link is to a site that has been manipulated and instead of sites that have answers to my questions I have someone's business or some kind of agenda site vs. an informational site.

We want transparency. We want net neutrality.  And here we are gumming up the works when it suits our purpose?

by BrionLutz 2007-01-12 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Are Google bombs a 'moral' use of web?


The problem is that the Washington press corps also has an agenda and that agenda is what the general public is going to be presented with when they search for information about McCain. Pointing them towards accurate information is the goal of what Chris is trying to do.

by smd 2007-01-12 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Are Google bombs a 'moral' use of web?

That's a great point.  And given that a handful of corporations own the airwaves, this is actually a pretty egalitarian effort to disseminate information.

by justinh 2007-01-12 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Googlebomb John McCain

Without a blog? This direction is helpful so everyone can participate. But - I don't know how to do it on this blog.

"Anyway, if you are reading this, I hope you are with me. Add "the truth about McCain" to your signature. Add John McCain to the template of your blog. Whenever you write about John McCain in a post, diary or comment, make sure to use the appropriate embedded hyperlink. Let's draw the line on John McCain's image, and let's draw it now. Let the "internets" ring loud and clear with the truth." 2/ap/politics/mainD8MJRGCO0.shtml

"the truth about McCain"

by mrobinsong 2007-01-12 09:48AM | 0 recs
I'm creating an anti-McCain site

I just bought and am going to create a site with the headline Discharge McCain and subhead Other Than Honorable.  That site will aggregate all the negative articles we can find about him and people can googlebomb that site rather than just an individual article, so people will see as much negative news about him as possible.  I might set the homepage title to be the most recent articles title so it won't be so obviously an anti-McCain site until people click it.

I just made all the purchases and will need about a week to get the site set up.

by Sean Robertson 2007-01-12 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Googlebomb John McCain


May I humbly suggest that instead of directing traffic and links to one story on McCain, it would make far more long-term sense to point people to McCain's standing page on either Congresspedia or Wikipedia?

Yes, you are going to get another satisfying press-hit out of announcing this "Google-bomb" campaign, but over time what sort of infrastructure/practice are you building?

By doing this, you are pushing attention and traffic temporarily to another big media outlet (in this case CBS) and you are also giving people the false sense that they are actually doing damage to McCain's image by trying to outsmart Google's algorithms. You think Google doesn't notice and adjust?

You also think that random web-searchers who see a page of McCain-related links--even including the individual ones you are trying to get pointers to--will be more likely to click on those links as opposed to going to broadly regarded biographical entries on wikis like Wikipedia and Congresspedia?

I've commented on this "Google-bomb" suggestion before and never heard a response from you on why you refuse to acknolwedge or point people to a social information project like Congresspedia. If you go to McCain's page there now, you'll see that it has a rich array of information on his whole record--including the Keating Five scandal, his ethnic slurs, his belief in intelligent design, his position on abortion AND his vociferous support for the Iraq War. (Plus it also covers the positions he's taken that some view as signs of moderation.)

But more importantly, Congresspedia is a wiki with an editor, which means people can add material to it with confidence that the factual stuff will stick. Instead of doing these one-off shots at particular Members, why not support a useful piece of web infrastructure and call on people to link to Members' pages there?

by Micah Sifry 2007-01-12 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Googlebomb John McCain

I'm surprised there haven't been any responses here.  I've been pondering this and have come to a couple conclusions:

1) Because Congresspedia isn't widely known yet, it will not be widely recognized or trusted.  With that in mind, there is value to pointing to mainstream material that the average searcher will recognize and, for better or worse, consider as reliable and trustworthy sources.  

2) That said, Congresspedia (and wikipedia as well) are great resources and are worthy of including in the campaign, alongside other sources, both to further the goal of this campaign around McCain and to promote them generally as sources to turn to in the future for quality information.

Does anyone disagree and think that the Congresspedia page on McCain isn't worthy of being included as one of the articles systematically promoted by this campaign?  

I agree with Micah's point that Congresspedia contributes to an infrastructure outside the mainstream, and that any effort to help speed the slow pace of adoption of the site is time well spent.

by jeko 2007-01-16 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Googlebomb John McCain

Great idea.

by forecaster15 2007-01-12 02:38PM | 0 recs
Are Googlebombs ethical?

"The problem is that the Washington press corps also has an agenda and that agenda is what the general public is going to be presented with when they search for information about McCain."

So destroying the value of the web is how to fix that?

You Googlebomb them, they Googble bomb you and the web gets spammed.

Hopefully the "do no evil" wizards at Google will figure out a way to really bomb those who want to take away net neutrality in this way.

by BrionLutz 2007-01-12 04:14PM | 0 recs
by nachnachoo 2007-06-26 07:58AM | 0 recs


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