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“impeach bush” Google search yields 9,000 more results than “impeach clinton”

posted by Jason Kottke   May 15, 2003

“impeach bush” Google search yields 9,000 more results than “impeach clinton”.

Reader comments

meMay 15, 2003 at 11:28AM

That’s only because everyone has a weblog these days. How many of those results are true journalistic views?

sixtoeMay 15, 2003 at 12:43PM

The irony is that Clinton was actually impeached. With all the journalistic coverage of Clinton’s impeachment hearings, you’d expect the results to be just the opposite.

Doogie Howser M.D.May 15, 2003 at 1:42PM

Really. How statistically amazing. Could it be that there have been two presidents with the name Bush? Or could it be that the liberal media tends to have the most content? Both.

You sure that Google didn’t screw up and spider words incorrectly? Maybe there are more sites out there that have “I’m” and “peach bushes” in their content. Yep…that’s it. I’m positive.

FGMay 15, 2003 at 3:35PM

There’s nothing amazing about this at all. It’s merely because Bush is the current President and Clinton hasn’t been President for over 2 years. Obviously views towards Bush are going to be getting expressed a lot more now. I have a feeling that if the weblogs were being used as much in 1998 as they are now, “impeach Clinton” search results would produce some staggering numbers compared to the 34,500 for “impeach Bush”

sixtoeMay 15, 2003 at 9:58PM

If the results are skewed by weblogs—which I would guess they are—it’s still an interesting indicator on how the Web has enabled the voice of the individual to become that much louder in just the past few years.

meMay 15, 2003 at 10:47PM

This is amazingly pointless.

Me 2May 15, 2003 at 11:09PM

But not pointless enough to comment on. =)

bushMay 16, 2003 at 9:38AM

impeach kottke google search yeilds 39 more results than impeach hourihan

clintonMay 16, 2003 at 11:48AM

i love that hourihan gal…heh heh

JesperMay 18, 2003 at 9:07AM

Nice to hear “clinton“‘s back in office (url). :)

Bill ClintonMay 19, 2003 at 5:36PM

The irony is that Clinton was actually impeached.

The irony is that Bush didn’t win the 2000 election.

hilcMay 19, 2003 at 7:46PM

Search Results Clogged by Commercial Websites

Bloggers believe scoring high placements in search-engine results is so crucial for generating traffic that many are willing to link to A-list bloggers that they don’t even know or email “new media” consultants to secure a good ranking.

Then there are commercial websites. With no deliberate effort, many dedicated commercial publishers are finding their stories rank high on search results for topics that, oftentimes, they claim to know practically nothing about.

Commercial publishers attribute prominent placement to the frequency with which they publish new material and the fact that other sites often link to their news stories. These are two factors most search engines take into account when determining rankings.

“More and more, I’m running into myself on Google,” said Jayson, who until recently wrote for a prestigious newspaper from his Brooklyn home.

“I haven’t searched for something completely random and found my own stories, but I have searched for specifics on police investigations that I’ve expressed opinions on a few weeks earlier and had to click through my own postings on numerous occasions,” Jayson said in an e-mail.

Other Web surfers are also being directed to Jayson’s stories. In a 24-hour period this week, Jayson said he got more than 150,000 click-throughs from Google users, including searches on such keywords as “Kim Possible” (a Disney cartoon), “DC Sniper,” “Anthrax Attacks” and “Jeffrey Archer”

“I do remember mentioning that I liked Kim Possible, but the rest don’t make much sense,” he said.


Still, Jayson is far from the only blogger who’s seeing even his most cursory references to a place, idea or technology result in search engine-generated traffic.

Larry McNanny, of Lansing, Michigan, had a similar experience after making a brief reference in his Michican Chronicle to an incident at a local mall. Much later, when he looked up the mall online hoping to find a listing of stores, McNanny’s first search result linked to the Michigan Chronicle.

Another time, McNanny said, he and fellow journalists on the editorial team posted a question online about how to correctly use apostrophes. The query generated a high enough search-engine ranking that many other professional writers e-mailed the journalists with questions.

Peter Paddy, who publishes the Miami Daily, says it’s common for search-engine queries on topics he’s commented briefly about to point users to his site. He believes the trick to achieving prominent search rankings is fairly straightforward: “update frequently and provide good content.”

Still, easy as it may be for certain commercial sites to generate high traffic from search-engine users, many bloggers struggle to rank high in online searches related to their interests.

Freddy Mansoni, of Cincinatti, provides a blog that keeps people up to date with daily photos of his pets, says that bloggers often don’t realize that they’re competing for placement not only with other bloggers but with any business who posts online.

“The Web is absolutely the great equalizer,” he said. “Good content rises to the top on the Internet. It doesn’t matter if the medium is a blog or a corporate Web page.”

Mansoni said many bloggers do not generate as much traffic from search-engine queries as they could because they put hundreds of links to other bloggers on their front page. This prevents search-engine crawlers from indexing those pages and including them in query results.

Many commercial websites, on the other hand, put only a small amount of information on the front page, pointing to a large number of internally linked pages, making it easier for crawlers to access them.

That said, efforts by bloggers to improve positioning appear to be working for random keywords. Random searches of a dozen obscure and incorrectly spelled nouns produced blogs in the top five results.

However, searches that included the word “money” along with a generic noun or company name were highly likely to generate a commercial website among the top results. In searches containing the keywords “money Microsoft,” “money Britney Spears,” and “money liverwurst,” for example, commercial sites showed up prominently in the results.

Mansoni says high rankings of commercial websites in “money”-related searches is probably because commercial websites use more business, formal language on their pages than bloggers sites do.

Moreover, he said, “I don’t know that money has a big blogging application.”



dowingbaMay 20, 2003 at 2:07PM

Clinton wasn’t impeached.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.