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McDonnell Fights Back On Google

Amy Gardner

Search "McDonnell" and "thesis" on Google, and you'll get a list of stories about the controversy surrounding Republican Bob McDonnell's 1989 master's thesis.

But check out the right-hand column of paid advertisements. You'll also see a sponsored link to "Women For McDonnell." Coincidence? Not on your life. McDonnell is pushing against the controversy on many fronts, and one of them, clearly, is the Internet.

By Amy Gardner  |  August 31, 2009; 7:39 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Irony, thy middle name is McDonnell.

Seriously, what were they thinking with this particular ad target? That I would look for his ridiculous "thesis" and see his ad and think, "Yes, this is what I was actually looking for. I've always wanted to live back in the 1920's." ???

Posted by: pittgirly | August 31, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Gee, wish I had a job as a reporter at the Post.
Not a lot of insight or effort required.

If this is news, then
Reporters should try looking at the democratic outlets and their ad buys... or how about the SEIU's ad buys...
Or the "astroturf" organizations that democratic "community organizers" are establishing with out of state DNC money.

Posted by: mary1961 | August 31, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure McDonnell is paying for the ad to appear when those keywords are searched? My understanding of how ads on Google work is that the ads relate to the results of the search, so "women" and "McDonnell" would make sense when bringing up his thesis and would come up automatically.

Posted by: Dave22201 | August 31, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Yep, they're pay-per-click ads. You choose keywords you want to attract traffic from (like "women" "mcdonnell" and "thesis") and then bid on those keywords so that your ad shows up on those search pages.

You might be thinking of gmail though, where ads appear to the side (and the top) based on the content of your actual emails. Scary, right? Google is everywhere :)

Posted by: pittgirly | September 1, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

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