By Eloise Horsfield
THREE men have succeeded in smashing negative stereotypes about Andalucians – at least on the internet.
Spain’s southernmost region has long been unfairly associated with laziness and backwards thinking, perhaps due to its rural lifestyle and scorching temperatures.
But in April this year, three Marbella-born men decided they were tired of it.
The team, who all work in advertising, had found that when they typed the words los andaluces son (Andalucians are…) into Google, the search engine’s autocomplete function suggested words such as ‘lazy’, ‘stupid’, ‘illiterate’ and ‘false’.
Since these adjectives are selected automatically depending on previous searches that have been carried out, Habacuc Rodriguez, 31, Fernando Munoz, 35, and Antonio Cabello, 35, decided to launch a website to help change the results.
“Our challenge is to clean up the online reputation of Andalucians,” Rodriguez told the Olive Press.
Losandalucesson.com works by encouraging visitors to click on an icon that triggers a fresh Google search saying Andalucians are, for example, ‘hardworking’, ‘incredible’, ‘creative’, ‘sporty’, ‘strong’, ‘special’, ‘original’ and ‘the best’.
These searches all go into Google’s memory bank, meaning subsequent searches will produce more positive results.
The results have been most impressive.
Within a week 30,000 people had contributed, and in a month the figure had risen to 150,000 with contributors as far away as Ghana and Australia defending Andalucians’ name.
And now, just two months after the launch, the Olive Press can confirm that the words ‘creative’ ‘happy’ and ‘original’ are now appearing on at least the Spanish version of Google.
“We have managed to change Google.es 100 per cent, but Google.com is not quite there yet,” said Rodriguez.
He admitted that their efforts are just a small step in the fight to combat the negative image the region has across the world.
“For this we would need another type of campaign which targets all those movers and shakers who spout out completely unfounded negative comments and generalisations about Andalucians,” he said.
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