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.
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.