Municipal Election 2006

More on the Eisenberger Campaign Website

By Ryan McGreal
Published September 08, 2006

The plot thins.

According to today's Hamilton Spectator, Mario Joanette, Larry Di Ianni's campaign manager, received a tip from a friend or possibly relative of the Mayor, who had searched Google for Fred Eisenberger's name and found a link to campaigndemo.com, a website that appeared to be a demo of Eisenberger's campaign website.

A whois lookup of campaigndemo.com shows it registered to a company called Domains by Proxy, Inc, which obfuscates the ownership of web domains, on September 3, 2006.

The Spec reports that repeated the Google search did not turn up the campaigndemo.com result. Also, Google normally makes a copy of every site it indexes and offers links to the cached copy, but there does not appear to be a cache for campaigndemo.com either.

This has led to questions about just what's going on, and whether the original tip was legitimate.

I tried searching Google for the site and could not find anything either. However, a search using Yahoo!, an alternate search engine, does find the controversial site.

Yahoo! has also saved a cached copy of the original page, which features the page title "Fred for Mayor | Leadership for a Change" and standard graphic design industry placeholder text.

The cache has links to additional pages on the campaigndemo.com server: Contribute, Volunteer, About Fred, Links, and Join our Mailing List, and features a poll question: "What issue affects you the most? Health care, Taxes, Crime". None of these pages are active.

The page also has a working link to the Conservative Party of Canada website.

In other words, both the Di Ianni and Eisenberger campaigns are probably telling the truth. However, that doesn't change the fact that Eisenberger registered his official website before announcing his candidacy.

As for why the site disappeared from Google's index, the company is currently undergoing a significant internal restructuring of how it crawls and indexes the web. It's possible the campaigndemo.com site was in its index and then dropped out or was moved into a supplemental index, where the rules for search results are different.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By King James (anonymous) | Posted September 09, 2006 at 16:48:02

Way to present an alternative Fred!

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 10, 2006 at 14:07:04

Another possible explanation for the site not being in Google's index is that it was never indexed at all. Many non-technical think "Google" is interchangeable with "browser," "Internet Explorer", "the Internet," and "the Web".

I wouldn't be surprised if Di Ianni's campaign manager simply searched whatever search engine happens to open as his home page and called it "Google" for lack of more accurate terminology.

Incidentally, that suggests "Google" has achieved the same status as "Kleenex" and "Xerox" - a specific brand that doubles as a generic term for any similar product.

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