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Effects of Google bomb

January 25th, 2007 · No Comments

In some cases, the phenomenon has produced competing attempts to use the same search term as a Google bomb. As a result, the first result at any given time varies, but the targeted sites will occupy all the top slots using a normal search instead of “I’m feeling lucky,” a special button on Google’s interface that sends the user straight to the top site in the search.

Other search engines use similar techniques to rank results, so Yahoo!, AltaVista, and HotBot are also affected by Google bombs. A search for “miserable failure” or “failure” on September 29, 2006 brought up the official George W. Bush biography number one on Google, Yahoo! and MSN and number two on Ask.com. On June 2, 2005, Yooter reported that George Bush is now ranked first for the keyword ‘miserable’, ‘failure’ and ‘miserable failure’ in both Google and Yahoo!. And on September 16, 2005, Marissa Mayer wrote on Google Blog about the practice of Google bombing and the word “failure.” (See Google’s response below). Other large political figures have been targeted for Google bombs: on January 6, 2006, Yooter reported that Tony Blair is now indexed in the U.S. and UK versions of Google for the keyword ‘liar’. Only a few search engines, such as Ask.com, MetaCrawler and ProFusion, do not produce the same first links as the rest of the search engines. MetaCrawler and ProFusion are metasearch engines which use multiple search engines.

The growth of Wikipedia has alleviated these one-word Google bombs somewhat, as for a definable concept (for example “liar”) there is usually a popular article with that title, which often appears first in results.

The BBC, reporting on Google bombs in 2002, actually used the headline “Google Hit By Link Bombers”[9], acknowledging to some degree the idea of “link bombing.” In 2004, the Search Engine Watch site suggested that the term should be “link bombing” because of its application beyond Google, and continues to use that term as it is considered more accurate.

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