Obama Not Provided

WASHINGTON – Following revelations that the U.S. government’s PRISM program has been secretly collecting information on foreigners overseas from the nation’s largest Internet companies like Google, Facebook and, most recently, Apple, in search of national security threats, President Obama admitted that Google’s policy of hiding keywords in Google Analytics was the deciding factor in moving ahead with the controversial program.

“Not being able to see our keywords created a grave threat to our national security,” President Obama said today in a hastily-called press conference to address the growing scandal.

About two years ago, Google started to protect the privacy of users logged into its system by not passing their keyword data along to publishers’ websites – unless the publishers also advertised with Google. The search giant claimed the move would affect less than ten percent of searches.

“When Google started hiding keywords in 2011, Matt Cutts said it would affect only about 10% of searches,” said Obama.  “But over the past two years, we are now unable to see over 60% of our referring keywords.  And thanks to the Sequester, our AdWords budget has been cut, so we had to do something.”

Frequent critic of the White House Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is defending Google’s actions, saying he’s more concerned about the President’s strategy, or lack thereof.

“Everybody knows the Panda update was about quality,” said Graham, “If the President would stop focusing on “keywords” and “rankings” and start creating compelling content that users care about, this wouldn’t be an issue.”

When asked for comment, the President responded “I know that Americans are concerned about the balance between safety and liberty.  With that in mind, I have appointed a blue ribbon commission to work on a content marketing strategy that combines guest posting on relevant sites, natural-looking anchor text and a weekly infographic.”

UPDATED 6.10.13 9:35am PDT – Edward Snowden, a former SEO consultant for the Obama Administration, has identified himself as the source of leaked information about the National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program.  Snowden claims his actions were forced by a chief executive “obsessed with ranking reports.”

“I kept telling him that trying to outrank Wikipedia for “best president ever” searches was a waste of tax-payer money,” said Snowden, “Obama may play the long game, but what about the long tail?  I don’t want to live in a society that doesn’t understand the basics of search engine optimization.”


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20 Response Comments

  • David Portney  June 7, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Had to check my calendar – is today April 1 already? 😉

  • jeremy  June 7, 2013 at 8:46 am


  • Dan Leibson  June 7, 2013 at 9:47 am

    The press conference is soon to be re-purposed as an ebook, followed by a series of blog posts….

  • yousaf  June 7, 2013 at 11:39 am


  • Ryan Jones  June 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Brilliant! Does this mean I can FOIA request my [not provided] keywords from Google – since the govt now has them in their ISP data?

    • Andrew Shotland  June 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

      My attorneys are filing the request as we speak

  • Takeshi  June 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I knew it!

  • Chase Johnson  June 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Can someone PLEASE make a mashup of Obama saying this stuff? I promise that I would share that everyday for a month to my 74 twitter followers (that’s big right?).

  • Ryan Anderson  June 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    This sounds like something he would say.

  • Michael  June 10, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Obama should go to the Big Brother show as the big brother 🙂

  • Jo Shaer  June 10, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Absolutely brilliant! I too checked my calendar and my partner said ‘is this a joke’!

    And if there is a mashup of the senator and Obama, I too would share it.

    It sounds like me talking to my clients!

  • Jeff  June 10, 2013 at 6:27 am

    My favorite line was, “And thanks to the Sequester, our AdWords budget has been cut, so we had to do something.”

  • Matt  June 10, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Lest we forget as with so many things, then-Senator Obama was in FAVOR of (Not Provided) before he was against it.

  • Mike Stewart  June 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    In classic style. We live in the era of Bilderburg buddy! You are too funny.

  • Holly Jahangiri  June 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Some poor schmuck is citing this, even as we speak, as authoritative.

    But don’t worry – Snopes will be on it if your SEO tactics work.

    • Andrew Shotland  June 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      I would kill to see that Holly 🙂

  • Christopher West  July 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    What you serious?

    Can’t they “force” Google to lift that not provided thorn then?

  • Justin  July 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Haha…this one got me good….

  • andy anderson  August 2, 2013 at 7:29 am

    That is an incredible revelation. How are we going to make President Obama pay back all this wastage of taxpayers money, if the allegation is true?

  • Angelina  September 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Hi, just wanted to tell you, I liuked this article.
    It was funny. Keep on posting!