Googlebombs ‘fixed’

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?

About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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