Hutchison Camp Uses SEO to Call Rick Perry 'Gay'

Political Marketing Sullies Everything It Touches

By Published on .

Note to politicians: It's hard for people to prove you're behind sleazy brochures stuck under windshields or ads funded by outside groups. It's not so hard to bust your sleazy tactics on your own website. PEOPLE CAN READ YOUR SOURCE CODE!!!

That's the lesson being learned down in Texas by a gubernatorial campaign site for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. According to W. Gardner Selby at the Austin American-Statesman, the site was search optimized with all sorts of interesting phrases, including "Rick Perry Gay." (Here's a complete list of the words found.)

The campaign, which said it has removed the phrases, told Selby that a vendor sold them a tool that generates the phrases to divine the most frequent web searches "using one or all of the terms 'Rick Perry,' 'Kay Bailey Hutchison' and 'Texas.'" According to Selby, the "generated phrases aren't intended to drive up traffic to the ... site; they are intended to help Hutchison's campaign decide most efficiently where to purchase banner ads ... that would drive people to the site."

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