By - Alyssa Vincent

Comedian Stephen Colbert’s name has recently become synonymous with the term super political action committee, at least in the eyes of Google. When searching the term super PAC in Google, Colbert’s name dominates the top results. Officials at Bluffdale-based SEO.com are weighing in on why the popular search engine thinks Colbert and super PACs are interchangeable terms.

Colbert announced in February that when searching for the term super PAC in Google, the Colbert super PAC came up as the second and third results.

“Colbert ranks highly in the search engine results because super PACs have been a strong theme on his show,” said Claye Stokes, SEO director at SEO.com. “He has produced high quality, controversial content about super PACs that people find comical and interesting.”

When ranking websites search engines consider how many times content has been linked to and shared. The process of improving a website’s ranking in the search engines is known as search engine optimization. One primary technique of SEO is producing high quality content that people want to link to.

“Because of the controversy and humor surrounding Colbert’s Super PAC, people are linking to his content on their websites and sharing it with their social networks,” said Stokes.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations have free-speech rights that allow them to make unlimited political donations to candidates running for office. A super PAC is a group organized to facilitate the donation process.

Colbert’s super PAC has been a satirical vehicle for the comedian to highlight and explain the deregulation of money in politics.
“When you have highly authoritative websites like The HuffingtonPost and Mashable regularly writing about and linking to your content and website, the search engines view that material as more credible, and that’s exactly what happened withcolbertsuperpac.com,” Stokes said.

To date, the Colbert super PAC has earned more than $1 million. In comparison, the Restore Our Future super PAC supporting presidential candidate Mitt Romney raised more than $30 million in 2011.

“I have to thank the 31,595 of you who donated to the Colbert super PAC. You gave until it hurt, and evidently, some of you have a very low threshold of pain, because 1,600 of you gave $1 each,” Colbert said on his show.

Colbert has yet to state what he plans to do with the money.  In the past, his super PAC has spent $90,100 in production costs and airtime for ads supporting candidate Herman Cain and attacking candidates Newt Gingrich and Romney.

“While the Colbert super PAC has, by no means, raised the most money, it has raised the most controversy and awareness,” said Jon Reese, director of marketing at SEO.com.  “That controversy and awareness has earned him the top search results for the term ‘super PAC.’  That real estate is arguably worth more than $1 million.”