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Santorum campaign says ‘Google problem’ has been solved

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign says his “Google problem” has been solved.

Until recently, the top result for users who typed Santorum’s name in the search engine was a crude sexual term devised by gay columnist Dan Savage to attack Santorum.

Peter Pasi, a digital consultant to the Santorum campaign, said that they were finally able to overcome this problem as Santorum has risen in the presidential race.

Santorum’s campaign website now ranks higher in Google.

“The word Santorum is more relevant to Rick’s campaign,” Pasi explained in response to a question about the topic during a breakfast at Google’s Washington, D.C. offices Friday.

Pasi speculated that Savage had success with his campaign to disparage Santorum because “he had a huge platform through his columns to say go ahead and search for this, link to this.”

At the same time, the digital consultant said, “Senator Santorum’s campaign website wasn’t active.”

That all changed as the campaign heated up and the campaign website got “inbound links from the New York Times” and other top news websites.

“We’re obviously a major player now,” Pasi said.

Earlier this year, Santorum accused Google of having a political agenda by not stopping Savage’s definition from being the top search.

He said then that Google “has repeatedly on more than one occasion taken down sites, taken down searches for folks like Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, but has left it out there for me for 10 years so people can be exposed to the most horrific filth that you ever want to see.” (WATCH: Santorum attacks Google for playing politics with ‘horrific filth’ searches)

Others who participated in the breakfast were Zac Moffatt of Mitt Romney’s campaign and Vincent Harris of Newt Gingrich’s campaign.

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