There’s a man running for mayor in Birmingham. His name is Patrick Cooper. This Patrick Cooper, he has a website, “Patrick Cooper for Mayor.” His name, Patrick Cooper, is everywhere on the site, as a campaign would dictate. And I have no doubt the local political sites mention this Patrick Cooper and link to him often.
If you recall, Web surfers looking for that Patrick Cooper accidentally visited this Patrick Cooper’s site over the summer. I thought the effect was amusing. But earlier this month, Professor Amit e-mailed with rough news. Googling for “Patrick Cooper” found my site not in the top spot for the first time in years. Candidate Patrick Cooper had taken the top spot. That Patrick Cooper still held the spot as of this weekend.
In retrospect, the Patrick Cooper shift wasn’t surprising. A campaign was a campaign, designed to get Patrick Cooper’s name out to the public in any and all way’s possible. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I had never been big on displaying my Patrick Cooper name on the site. The URL was all that was really necessary. I bent a little in the title bar and such, just to show Google who was here at patrickcooper.com. But my efforts were no Patrick Cooper political machine.
I recently looked up the date of the Birmingham election and found it was October 9. That day, I told friends, was the peak of that Patrick Cooper’s Google popularity. Unless, they replied, he won.
I had to consider the possibility: Patrick Cooper, mayor of Birmingham. My professional responsibility kept me from immediately beginning a campaign against Patrick Cooper. I had nothing against him — or for him, for that matter. I knew nothing about him other than his name, Patrick Cooper, and what he was attempting to do. But I had to admit a little interest today to find Patrick Cooper behind in the polls. In a Birmingham News poll released Sunday, Patrick Cooper was in second, trailing by 8%, with 18% undecided and 4.9% margin of error.
My best course of action seemed to be to explain the issue to the robots at Google. I would write a post explaining how I was Patrick Cooper and how there was now this other Patrick Cooper. Maybe mentioning my name a bit would help explain things? While I hadn’t mentioned it much in the past, now appeared to be the right time.
Update at 5:15 p.m. ET: My visitor logs show a dozen visitors in the last day or so from Birmingham. Welcome! I am not the guy.