Entries in Google (7)


Romney’s ‘Completely Wrong’ Google Problem

Melina Mara/The Washington Post(NEW YORK) -- The internet is having a little fun with Mitt Romney.

“Just for fun! 1. Go to Google Images 2. Type ‘completely wrong’ 3. Laugh,” reads the meme image of Romney floating around the Internet since last week’s first presidential debate.

The image search returns a page full of Romney’s visage.

The truth is, the search results aren’t a case of digital trickery, like the Google search result that has haunted Rick Santorum since 2003.

Google searches turn up images that are associated with articles written about those words. They came during an interview with Fox News in which Romney admitted that his “47 percent” comments were “completely wrong.”

“Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you’re gonna say something that doesn’t come out right,” Romney said. “In this case I said something that’s just completely wrong.”

A spokesperson for Google told ABC News that their engine is producing a “natural search result.”

Other similar searches produce similar results.

Put in “had a bad night” in Google images, and the search turns up photos of President Barack Obama, who in an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer admitted that his debate performance wasn’t up to snuff.

And something similar happens in a search for the words “a successful dump.” Images of Joe Biden appear, which are associated with articles about the now-famous campaign 2008 moment before Biden was selected as Obama’s running mate.

“I had a successful dump,” Biden told reporters outside of his home in Delaware. “I dropped everything at the dump.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum’s ‘Google Problem’ Solves Itself

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rick Santorum may have a problem pulling off upset wins in GOP primaries, but he no longer has a Google problem. After years during which people got a vulgar term for anal sex as their first result when they searched the word “Santorum,” the site responsible for the prank has been bumped out of Google’s top five results.

For months, Santorum pleaded with Google, to no avail, to remove the vile definition propagated by the site “Spreading Santorum” from the search engine results. But it seems an extended run at or near the top of the GOP primary polls was the right medicine to knock the nasty definition out of the top search spot.

While the offending site still appears on the first page, links to Santorum’s campaign website, his Wikipedia page and Google news results all appear above “Spreading Santorum,” which was created by prankster columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage in retaliation for anti-gay comments Santorum made in 2003.

External links to Savage’s definition, such as a similar Urban Dictionary description, still appear in the top five results.

Back in September, when Santorum publicly called on Google to amend the search results, Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker said the search engine does "not remove content from our search results, except in very limited cases such as illegal content and violations of our webmaster guidelines.”

“Google’s search results are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the Web,” Stricker said in a statement. “Users who want content removed from the Internet should contact the webmaster of the page directly."

“Once the webmaster takes the page down from the Web, it will be removed from Google’s search results through our usual crawling process.”

Google did not immediately return a request for comment on the changed search results.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney Fight for Votes, and Google Searches

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- So Newt Gingrich has taken a sizable lead in the polls with less than a month to go before the Iowa caucuses, with 33 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers currently favoring Gingrich for the GOP nomination, compared to 18 percent apiece for Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. That’s the principal finding in the newest ABC News/Washington Post poll, released Tuesday morning.

If you were on the staff of the Google Politics & Elections Team, you could have predicted that. Google says its searches trend the same way polls do, a little before the polls come out.

On a Google blog, Jake Parillo of their politics team posts graphs of the number of searches for Gingrich and Romney, and says the debate Nov. 9 was a turning point. That night was probably most famous for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s now-famous “brain freeze,” when he blanked out on the third government department he would eliminate -- but Parillo says it was a breakout night for Gingrich.

“With Herman Cain’s pivot from Republican frontrunner to campaign after-thought, Google’s Insights for Search tools is showing former Speaker Newt Gingrich stepping into the void and accelerating his momentum -- just as formalized polling data indicates,” he said.

More from Google’s Parillo:

    “Gingrich has recently taken the lead in searches; beginning in early November, the former Speaker has captured the attention of the country and has taken the search lead in the four early states.

    “Interest in Mitt Romney is on a strong upward trajectory since December 1, indicating that American searchers are narrowing their choices to Governor Romney and Speaker Gingrich.”

Do the number of searches for a candidate clearly predict success at the polls? It’s not that simple, of course, but statisticians have shown a clear correlation -- on Google, Twitter and elsewhere -- between a candidate’s popularity and the amount of online traffic he or she generates.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Romney’s Google Problem Solves Itself

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) -- Google seems to be as lukewarm about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as are Republican voters, who have yet to show more than 25 percent support for the former Massachusetts governor.

Last week when anyone Googled the phrase “Romney can win,” the search engine asked: “Did you mean: ‘Romney can’t win?’”

But after a flurry of recent news stories about the search and suggested search, which were first reported by Slate, the top-secret Google algorithms about the prospects of the on-again-off-again Republican front-runner seem to have changed.

For those searching “Romney can win” this week, Google has ditched its “did you mean” suggestion and has merely underlined the word “can” in red. The change, a Google spokesperson suggests, is purely mechanical and was not done deliberately.

“Our algorithms are automatically refreshed to take into account the latest data available,” the spokesperson said in an email. “With the latest data refresh, the spell-checking feature no longer appears for this particular query.”

Romney’s campaign declined to comment on the search results.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Stewart Revives Rick Santorum's 'Google Problem'

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, who turned 53 on Tuesday, is trending high in the Google-sphere, but not for the reasons he’d like.

Daily Show host Jon Stewart revived Santorum’s so-called “Google problem” Monday night on his show, encouraging viewers to search ‘Rick Santorum’ and see what they find.

The top results are a less than flattering mix of links to web sites that associate his name with a sex act.

“Santorum might as well change his last name to lemon party,” joked Stewart.

The search results have been the fixation of gay rights advocates since 2003, when blogger Dan Savage mobilized online supporters to create a new definition for Santorum after he publicly compared gay sex to pedophilia and bestiality.

Using a network of cross links and by driving up “clicks,” the activists have succeeded in keeping their definition at the top of search returns.

“There's no better way to memorialize the Santorum scandal than by attaching his name to a sex act that would make his big, white teeth fall out of his big, empty head,” Savage said at the time.

Santorum, who has said he believes homosexuality will “undermine the fabric of our society,” has acknowledged the controversy but sought to downplay its significance.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Should White House Staffers Use Gmail, iPads?

GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Are the president and his staff bypassing the Presidential Records Act by using iPads, Gmail and other modern communications inventions that operate outside the official White House recordkeeping system?

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrel Issa thinks so, and he believes the law may need an update to reflect the proliferation of networked mobile devices.

Waving an iPad, Issa on Tuesday questioned the White House chief information officer.

“Today, there are hundreds of products in the Old Executive Office, in the Treasury building, and in the White House proper being used to communicate, whether you like it or not, to private emails,” Issa said. “They’re simply connected. Is that correct?”

“That’s correct, sir,” said Brook Colangelo, the top tech officer at the White House.

Issa has posted the exchange on YouTube. He wants to find a way to get at Gmail and other types of cloud-based messaging systems, as well as the personal phones of White House personnel.

The records act requires all White House staff to turn over any work-related communications, regardless of whether they are on the government network, to the Archivist of the United States. But Issa said he is concerned there is no way to police the use of personal devices and outside email accounts.

“I’m not after the president. I’m not after the administration,” Issa said. “I’m after the changes in technology and whether or not we’re equipped to deal with them.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hot on Google: South Carolina Governor-Elect Nikki Haley

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) -- South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley won more than the top political job in her state this year -- she ascended to the heights of search engine stardom.

Haley was the fastest-rising political figure in Google’s search results, according to year-end statistics compiled by the company. That means that Haley, who will be the first woman governor of the Palmetto State, was among the politicians whose names spiked the most on the site from last year to this year. 

Rounding out the top five fastest-rising politicians on Google were failed GOP California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Senator-elect Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Senator-elect Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

The data come from Google’s “Zeitgeist 2010” report, which includes information on what terms Internet users in the United States and around the world were searching for the most over the last year.

Haley’s search traffic shot up during the spring and early summer -- around the same time a conservative blogger accused her of having an extramarital affair. Haley denied the allegations and went on to win the GOP primary in June and this November's general election. It was a feat that earned Haley a place among the rising start of the Republican Party.

Another emerging Republican mover and shaker, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, was the sixth fastest-rising political figure on Google, followed by Nelson Mandela, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., former presidential candidate John Edwards, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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