Googlebomb John McCain

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 15:04

It is time to start bomb bomb bomb, bomb bombing again. No, not Iran, but John McCain's Google ranking.

In looking for a search engine optimization against McCain, the first step is to choose good websites to optimize. Here some criteria for good websites:

  • The website should already be in the Google top 100, for searches on John McCain, making it easier to increase the ranking over time.
  • The website should have the word "McCain" in the title of the search result making it easier to optimize.
  • The website should be from a well-known news source, making is less obviously a partisan attack.
  • The website should have a long life span, and not in danger of being removed before the general election.
  • The website should be a negative news story on McCain, not an opinion piece.

With those criteria in mind, here are six best possible options I see for a McCain Googlebomb search engine optimization campaign:

  1. John McCain. You Tube showing John McCain as a flip-flopper. Current Google rank:12. Is not a news site.

  2. John McCain. Anti-McCain attack site featuring videos and McCain's connection to lobbyists. Current Google rank: 22. Is obviously an attack site rather than a news source.

  3. John McCain. The original McCain Googlebomb tying McCain to Bush on Iraq. Current Google rank: 26. CBS News is the source. Title comes off as garbled in the Google search. Also, McCain is going to make this connection the basis of his campaign, so it might not be necessary.

  4. John McCain: Crooks and Liars tag for John McCain. Current Google rank: 30. Will be constantly updated. It is a blog, but one with a great title when it comes to attacking a Republican nominee.

  5. John McCain: Mother Jones article about McCain wanting to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years. Current Google rank: 76. Negatives: long and somewhat garbled title.

Let me know what you think of these options. Also, if you have any more candidate websites, especially some of the juicy lobbyist stuff of late, please list them in the comments.

Over the next couple of days, we can whittle down the choices, put it to a vote, and start the campaign in earnest.  

Chris Bowers :: Googlebomb John McCain

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6 or 5 choices? (0.00 / 0)
I don't think the Mother Jones article is that great.

Do you think one of the recent lobbyist articles might be okay?  They might rise quickly.    

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

Choose one (0.00 / 0)
Which one do you think is best? Choose one and let's take a look.  

[ Parent ]
hard to say (0.00 / 0)
The New York Times one is the most famous, at John McCain.  It does come up on the 1st page of the search "John McCain lobbyist."

I personally liked the WaPo article The anti-lobbyist, advised by lobbyists, but it seems to be overwhelmed in searches by the WaPo story on the John McCain denial of the NYT story.  I suppose it's because McCain is not in the title.  So it is no good.

There's the new Newsweek story on John McCain lying in his defense.

Incidentally, when I search for just "McCain", I get the CBS story on the 1st page.  The realmccain site is near the top of the 2nd page, so it might need just a small boost.

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

[ Parent ]
it's near the top because it's in the news (0.00 / 0)
Chris, do you have any ideas on how to keep bad news near the top of Google news hits?

[ Parent ]
Great Titled Articles on McCain and Lobbyists (4.00 / 1)
"The Anti-Lobbyist, Advised by Lobbyists," by Michael D. Shear and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Washington Post, February 22, 2008; Page A01

"McCain defends lobbyist ties," by Libby Quaid, Associated Press, February 22, 2008

"A Hole in McCain's Defense? An apparent contradiction in his response to lobbyist story." by Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, Feb 22, 2008


Editorial Orlando Sentinel: "Our position: McCain didn't live up to his principles in dealings with lobbyist," February 22, 2008,0,2505177.story

An Oldie, but Goodie

"McCain's Unlikely Ties to K Street: 32 Lobbyists Bundle Funds for Longtime Critic," by Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and John Solomon, Washington Post,December 31, 2007; Page A01

"McCain: Lobbyist Did Not Force Me into Positions," by Andy Borowitz, February 22, 2008

suggestions (0.00 / 0)
I got these from a DrSteveB comment on DailyKos:

Mr. McCain abandoned his wife, who had reared their three children while he was in Vietnamese prisons, and he then began his political career with the resources of his new wife's family.

Pretty damning, really hurts the maverick meme too. It has the added benefit of continuing to tar the repubs on the "family values" front.

This reads like a hit piece, but it's still pretty good.

Numbuh one (0.00 / 0)
Maybe this is my generational bias, but I definitely liked the YouTube video best. That was kick-ass, but I don't exactly know if older voters will respond to it.

At any rate, the YouTube video gets my vote.
Good title, too: John McCain vs. John McCain.

I vote #1 as well (0.00 / 0)
I think it's the most devastating, because there's something for EVERYONE to dislike in that video.

The video itself could stand to be faster, frankly. His opposing quotes should be practically right on top of each other, and the transitions need to be faster. If you're trying to convince low-information voters, you need to make the point immediately - they're not going to wait around for it. If someone can point me to a source for higher-res-than-youtube raw footage, I'd be happy to take a crack at it myself.

[ Parent ]
the other videos in the sidebar are great too (0.00 / 0)
It links  straight to this video:

of McCain sleeping during the state of the union.  I like the video for that reason, that it refers people straight to move horrible coverage.

[ Parent ]
Concern about videos (4.00 / 1)
Do we need to take into account how many people will be logging onto the internet with old computers or slow dial-ups that won't be able to run videos?
People with high speed connections and expensive newer computers are already well-informed and aren't the primary targets of our googlebomb.

[ Parent ]
Straight Talk! (0.00 / 0)
I agree. If we can expose his straight talk for the double talk it actually is, his brand as a politician will be tarnished beyond repair.

[ Parent ]
WSJ on McCain's "Troubling" Economics Policies (0.00 / 0)
"Reform. Reform. Reform.  John McCain Explains His Eclectic -- and Troubling -- Economic Philosophy"

This is the source of the now famous quote:

"I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated."

The linked item is a 2005 opinion piece.  HIghlights: critical of McCain across the board on immigration (too liberal), Bush tax cuts (supported them), worries about global warming and thus favors "anti-competitive measures, has a "world-famous explosive temper".

This piece would help peel away conservatives and move an entire swath of policy issues toward the center, making our nominee defend from the left.

Need nicknames for McCain (0.00 / 0)
Off the top of my head:

John McCombover



John McCain--He isn't who you think he is. (0.00 / 0)
That's my favorite tag line.  The WaPo articles are good.  My guess is there will be more over the next week.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
I'm going with (0.00 / 0)
Cheaty McWrinkles. :)

Help us Optimize McCain! Use these widgets to make it crazy-easy...

[ Parent ]
lobbyist stories (4.00 / 1)
I really like the WaPo article about his campaign being run by lobbyists, for three reasons:

1) McCain has already hitched his campaign to the Iraq war, and I have no doubt that a central line of attack by Democrats will be on the war, especially now that it seems Obama will be the nominee. Obama already drops the 100 year line into his speeches, and we can assume this will be heavily emphasized. Thus, reinforcing that theme with a Googlebomb seems less necessary.

2) Using the lobbying articles attacks McCain's perceived strengths directly. In order for any attacks to stick, the "maverick" image first needs to be destroyed, and the politics as usual image from the lobbyist stories goes a long way to destroying McCain's cultivated image. Plus, now is an opportune time to remind people of the Keating scandal.

3) Assuming Obama is the nominee, connecting McCain to lobbyists will directly feed into one of his major arguments in the general: special interests and lobbyists are a major problem in Washington. If a Googlebomb can make McCain sound false when he claims that he agrees and that he has fought against lobbyist influence, it will dramatically help in the general, IMO.

At the moment, the WaPo story seems the best to me, but perhaps the Newsweek story, or perhaps something else will come out in the next week that is even better. I would avoid the NYT story, as I think it is much weaker on the central point that McCain has strong ties to lobbyists.

Positive Version (4.00 / 2)
We should also think about arranging a series of positive google bombs for our candidates (even before it is decided, since a lot of people will tune in once a winner is declared).

hug (0.00 / 0)
the bush hug should be on the first page of GIS results. Mccain's main electability argument vis-a-vis the other republicans is being less tied to bush due to his maverickyness.

Numbers 2 or 4 (0.00 / 0)
I'd prefer 2 because it's a little easier to rise and I think people will be attracted in fact to attack sites. Number 4 might be able to sneak up there and that'd lead people to reading more of Crooks and Liars, too, so that'd be awesome.

It's a tough call.

1 is a video. Not accessible to lagging connections.

3 is not really too helpful.

5 doesn't really go after McCain, obviously, so it's not as good an attack against McCain as 2 and 4.  

I'm sorry to see that (0.00 / 0)
None of your choices are attacks on his character.  I've said before that I think the "crazy uncle" attack, as Paul Rosenberg calls it, may be our best angle. The guy is irrational, belligerent, out of touch and out of control.

This New York Post article hits him hard, and comes from an unbiased (or, more accurately, Right Wing) publication.

I really think it ought to be included in the list.

Good luck!  Let me know when I should change my sig line.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

Temper Yes, But Not Crazy Uncle (0.00 / 0)
This article shows McCain's temper pretty well. But he comes across as pretty rational, just angry. I don't think it makes him sound like a crazy uncle at all.

If we want to go in this direction, we need an article that quotes him saying irrational or silly things or points out that he fell asleep during the State of the Union address or something that makes him seem senile or reminds people of Bush's inability to talk.

[ Parent ]
McCain misses vote on economic stimulus (0.00 / 0)
Boston  Globe

1.  Good (bad) picture of him right up front
2.  It's about the economy
3.  He skipped a key vote and his vote could have made the difference (cloture vote failed with 59)
4.  It's recent.
5.  He was in DC that day for Christ's sake.  The skip was a politically cowardly thing to do, he wasn't away campaigning or anything.

That's what I've been going with for the last couple weeks.

It doesn't appear within the first 15 pages of a google search though.

An oldie but a goodie:

McCain Criticized for Slur
He says he'll keep using term for ex-captors in Vietnam

Guess what that's about.

Garbled page titles are a big issue (0.00 / 0)
As far a rising in the ranking goes. They just won't get as many click-throughs even if they get close to the top, which limits their upside. That eliminates 3 and 5, which would otherwise be the best ones.

Overall, #1 is the best way to go. The fact that it is video makes it seem more legit than the anti-McCain site, or crooks & liars. It's also a great video, and our references to it will cause it to simultaneously rise in the google ranks and youtube ranks, both of which are important.

ec=-8.50 soc=-8.41   (3,967 Watts)

How do you Google Bomb? (0.00 / 0)
Forgive me for being late to the party.  I want to help, but I don't know how.  Can someone please write a brief primer?


A vote against Health Care Reform is a vote for ten 9/11s every single year!

Googlebomb John McCain (0.00 / 0)
LEGS by dday (2/22)  at


TV ALERT by dday (2/22) at


JOHN McCAINS LOBBYIST FRIENDS (YouTube) He has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign.

THE LONG RUN-UP by Gabriel Sherman, TNR, 2/21,


Open Left Campaigns



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