Googlebombs ‘fixed’

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 29, 2007

Category: Search Engine Optimisation

This entry was posted on
Monday, January 29th, 2007
10:28 am and is filed
under Search Engine Optimisation.

Google Webmaster Central – A quick word about Googlebombs
SearchEngineWatch – Googlebombs Defused
Big Mouth Media – Google defuse the Google bomb

1. It’s a shame that the ‘liar’ result has gone; that started at Bloggerheads and it was one of my favourites.

2. It needs to be noted that the ‘liar’ bomb wouldn’t have worked if there weren’t a *lot* of people who thought it to be true – and important – information. There *is* a democratic process at work in Googlebombs, easily seen in the battle between left and right to make either George Bush or Michael Moore (and, later, Jimmy Carter) the top search result for ‘miserable failure’.

3. Despite Google’s denial on this front, I’m not sure how much of this is the direct result of an algorithm change. In fact, I think I smell a manual fix in the works, based primarily on a list of Googlebombs that used to be published on Wikipedia. A mirrored version of that list is here. (Interestingly, the lead ‘bomb’ on the list is not a bomb at all… and also something from Bloggerheads. The Anne Milton microsite became the top search result for ‘anne milton’ in all major search engines within a week because it was hosted at a site with an established reputation. This one example should provide bloggers who are in it for the long haul with one very good reason why they should consider getting their own domain name… but that’s for a later post.)

4. I suspect a partially manual fix because a few bombs not on that list (a couple of which are mine) are still functioning, and many of these appear to have link-patterns typical of a Googlebomb.

5. Oh, and Google are asking you to report such anomalies, so they can continue with the manual fixes further improve their algorithm.

6. Previous to this, I suspected that Google already *had* a mechanism to detect and defuse obvious Googlebombs; if you were the lead bomber, the quickest way to piss on your own fire was to brag about early results in a detectable way (i.e. by using the G-word next to your bomb or linking to the relevant search result from the same site that started the bomb).

UPDATE – See also:
Tribble Ad Agency – Google announces Agency of Record for George Bush and Tony Blair
Google Blogoscoped – Googlebombs Defused?


  1. scotch says

    Was there ever a bloggerheads googlebomb? Y'know, the other way round as it were.

  2. Manic says

    I seem to recall Dennis Paul trying one.. but no-one wanted to play with him.

  3. MatGB says

    Both of my main ones are still working, and they should be bloody obvious if they're looking for them manually or by link patterning. Admittedly Blears moved her site so insubstantial careerist is less effective now, but still.Wonder what they're up to then? I reckon manual fixes alongside a few algorithm tweaks, but ultimately it matters not…

  4. thstupidone says

    There's only one way to find out for sure.

  5. Manic says

    Why certainly. You could, for example, begin your own lonely little weblog that criticises the use of Googlebombs while attempting a Googlebomb or two yourself… right, 'Sam'?

  6. thstupidone says

    You could. But why does it seem like you're inferring that I'm doing that?

  7. Manic says

    Late night paranoia.

  8. Manic says

    Ah. A look in the back-end shows me why it may seem that way. Don’t let it concern you. Cheers.

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