Montana Politics

Why is Steve Daines Gaming Search Results?

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Did you know that Steve Daines’ “Montana journey dates back to his great-great-grandmother Karine Dyrud, who immigrated from Norway in 1869”? Or that he was chosen chosen “Most Likely to Succeed” by the senior class at Bozeman High School?If so, that’s exactly what Daines wants you to know about him and, if he can help it, nothing else.

Steve Daines is trying to manipulate search results about himself and his candidacy for the U.S. House by populating dozens of sites with the same self-serving pablum that is on his campaign page. Searching for Daines, you might encounter this site on Maxiarti Article Directory. Or this one on Article Monkeys. Or this one on Article Buster. Or this one on GoArticles. Or this one on IdeaMarketers. Or perhaps Women’s Health Mall. Or the Auto Approve Article Directory.

Every single article is written by a user named stevedaines, and each has been submitted in the past week to these content farms, sites that exist only draw search traffic for revenue generation and control search results.

As Rick Santorum could no doubt explain, political candidates would love to be able to control how search engines prioritize information about them. A certain Representative from Montana, for example, would probably love it if Google didn’t list anything about his drinking habits or voting record, but Google’s search algorithm makes it difficult to control the flow of information.

Daines’ use of content farms to promote himself also makes sense–with no real record of political accomplishment and a history of ethically questionable campaign strategies, he’d certainly rather have voters read about his self-promoting biography than his political résumé.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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