Warren County Ohio Democrats hide on the internet

In an Ohio county dominated by the Republican Party, the Warren County Democratic Party appeared to have given up on the idea of promoting their agenda on the internet. The content on their web site for the November 2012 general election was deliberately hidden from search engines.

search results from October 29, 2012

In this October 29, 2012 screen capture, Google refuses to describe the contents of the political web site because of "robots.txt", a file that search engines (aka "robots") use to define what portions of a web site should be indexed or cataloged. Because of a misconfiguration, the Warren County Democratic Party told Google to completely ignore the content on its web site.

While it was still possible to locate the web site based on its title, more important searches like "warren county ohio democratic voters guide" or searches for specific candidates and issues would not return results from the Democratic web site.

It is a bit of a mystery why the web page was crafted to hide itself from search engines. The robots directive is optional. Someone had to purposefully include the instruction to tell search engines to ignore the Democratic web site. Was it simply a hacker? Or was it a Republican sleeper operative that was hired to design the web site? Much like Mitt Romney's real positions, we may never know.

Since the November 2012 general election, the web site has been repaired and its content is now fully accessible to Google.

search results from March 2013

Despite the improvement in search engine recognition, the Warren County Democratic Party still seems to have a problem with manure trailing behind them. But further search engine manipulation may help wipe this trail of poo away. Even Rick Santorum was able to diffuse his messy Google-bombed namesake from the internet to a small degree.

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