Internet marketing resources, ecommerce web site design tutorials and  just for fun - free cell phone ringtones!
  Taming the Beast - quality web marketing and ecommerce development services

Google bombs defused?

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Sunday January 28, 2007 )

Don’t panic! This has nothing to do with terrorists; but given the “t” word is applied to just about everyone these days, maybe it does. The popular hobby of Google bombing is about to become history according to the Mighty G through some recent changes to their search algorithm.

Firstly, what is Google bombing?

Basically, it’s a form of tongue-in-cheek or more malicious search engine spamming; where a page ranks well for a term that is mentioned nowhere on the page. With the way that most search engine algorithms work, a page will will rank highly on a search query if the sites that link to that page use the query as anchor text; i.e. the text that is used for the link itself.

After the discovery of the method, it was utilized by many people to play the game of Google bombing – deciding on a term, and then getting a stack of people to link to a page using that term as anchor text. There were some hilarious examples, but probably the best known one was searching on the term “miserable failure” *used* to bring up George W. Bush’s Whitehouse biography page listing as number 1.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with that as the man is indeed the world’s most miserable failure, but eh, yet I digress.

I use the term *used* to bring up Georgies page as Google have announced they’ve taken steps by refining their algorithm to “defuse” Google bombs. Google states that up until now, the issue hasn’t really bothered them as these types of bombs are usually associated with obscure queries. The problem is that some people have assumed that these results are Google’s opinion or Google has manipulated data so that these pages rank highly.

Perhaps Georgie squawked ;).

You can read more about Google’s actions on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog

Aside from the novelty value of this post, it also raises an interesting point – will this algorithm tweak help weed out the spammers who use Google bombing for more commercial means? We can but hope.

While the changes are unlikely to affect most site owners according to Google, it does throw up a bit of a red flag that it’s probably a good idea to vary the anchor text you ask your link partners to use. Attempting to defuse a bomb can sometimes cause unexpected collateral damage – ask George :).

Related articles

Anchor text optimization

Learn more about search engine optimization


Comments for Google bombs defused?

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.