Senator's campaign website suffers search-engine death penalty for embedding invisible homophobic slur against opponent

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) is running for re-election, but her website has suffered Google and Yahoo's death penalty and has been removed from the search index. The reason: Hutchison's webmaster embedded thousands of invisible search-terms in the site in a bid to game search-engines; among them was the phrase "rick perry gay" (Rick Perry is Hutchison's Democrat opponent). The campaign claims the terms were generated automatically by "search engine optimization" software (SEO is a form of Google-Kremlinology in which firms attempt to figure out how to game search engines' ranking algorithms, rather than trying to create the best, most interesting website they can and assuming that the engines will figure out how to highly rank their material).

Hutchison's campaign initially told the Austin American-Statesman that "a vendor sold them on a tool that generates the phrases hourly or less in an attempt to divine the most frequent Web searches made by individuals who search online using one or all of the terms 'Rick Perry,' 'Kay Bailey Hutchison' and 'Texas'"–and plenty of people search for "rick perry gay."

The tool was allegedly used to help make banner ad buying decision, said the campaign, a claim that makes little sense on its face. Why would such a list be inserted in the website's source code unless the goal was to draw search traffic to the site?

Hidden gay slur, search terms, get campaign site blacklisted