Spreading Santorum, the website that helped popularize Dan Savage’s alternative meaning, was stripped of its top search result status two nights ago. It was replaced for a time by the markedly filthier Urban Dictionary definition (which even grossed Savage out), but now that too appears to have been moved down (at the time of writing, it is in the number three spot).
SearchEngineLand took a wonky look at what exactly happened, and came back with a pretty troubling response.
It seems Google has been working behind the scenes to implement new SafeSearch features that are left on even when you’ve turned SafeSearch off. One of these features prevents “adult” results from showing up when Google has deemed them irrelevant to the search.
In other words, if you’ve searched “Santorum,” Google “assumes” you’re not looking for frothy fecaled lube, but for the presidential candidate.
Another newly implemented feature aims to return “official sites” as the most relevant search result, and Google again “assumes” that Spreading Santorum is not Rick Santorum’s official site.
So, no more Google Problem for Rick, but an even bigger Google Problem for the rest of us. Fair trade?
Well that’s troubling.
Not surprised. It was only a matter of time.