Search Engine Optimization You Can Believe In

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It’s tough to write about, well, anything this week without mentioning the inauguration of Barack Obama. If his election proved anything, it’s the power of the internet, as well as the power of branding. His logo is perhaps the most effective logo in history. That’s saying a lot for a logo that’s only a couple of years old, but it contributed to Obama being elected the most powerful man on earth. It also led to further branding using the same color schemes – the famous “Hope” picture. All in all, it showed the power of a wordless logo or the power of a logo that doesn’t have to scream, “Buy this.”

Now he’s taken it further by removing the robots.txt from the Whitehouse.gov website, making the site accessible by search engines. Given the number of times Whitehouse.gov is going to be linked, it’s going to pull rank regardless, but this shows that the Obama tech staff leave no stone unturned.

The Obama administration is no different than any business. When people search for terms like “economy” and “recession,” they want people to end up at Whitehouse.gov so that the administration can both control the message and lead people to possible community building projects. In short, even the President needs to optimize. And now the site has the top listing for “President Obama’s Inaugural Address” from the site’s blog.

Unfortunately, they also unearthed a monster: the old Google bomb that tied the term “miserable failure” to the Whitehouse site, now links immediately to Obama’s Whitehouse site – an example of how things that end up in Google remain for a very, very long time. All of the left-wingers who were in on that Google bomb now have egg on their faces. The redirect for the president’s biography page now goes to President Obama rather than former President Bush. Let that be a lesson to Google Bombers.

White House Tech

The Obama team has had to take a step backwards in terms of White House technology. From the Washington Post:

Two years after launching the most technologically savvy presidential campaign in history, Obama officials ran smack into the constraints of the federal bureaucracy yesterday, encountering a jumble of disconnected phone lines, old computer software, and security regulations forbidding outside e-mail accounts….The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software. Laptops were scarce, assigned to only a few people in the West Wing.

Even the Whitehouse has tech problems – and it will be interesting to see if the Obama administration reforms this tech bureaucracy. One would hope.

Does this post help you optimize your own site? Possibly not, but it’s interesting – and very instructive that the most powerful position in the world also needs to think about SEO and robots.txt. Search engine optimization’s a vital process at every level.

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