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55 Ways to Have Fun With Google. Go to Table of Contents. Visit Gifcom.

32. Googlebombing

A googlebomb is when a group of people get together trying to push a site up the Google rankings… a site which seemingly doesn’t belong there. To do that, they all use the same link text when linking to the specific site – trying to make Google think the words in the link are indeed relevant to the page.

Probably the most well-known “Googlebomb” was for the phrase miserable failure. It would lead to the official biography of President George W. Bush on the White House servers. The effect is particularly convincing when you ask people to first enter miserable failure, and then press the “I’m feeling lucky” button; they will be referred to the top result directly, and some even thought Google expressed political beliefs here. Of course that’s not true – Google only created the algorithms that now run automatically, and from time to time, get abused to discredit people or organizations. Google’s only editorial decision in cases like these is to display small disclaimers close to googlebombed search results, and educate people on what’s happening. A reply posted to their official Google Blog1 was:

We don’t condone the practice of googlebombing, or any other action that seeks to affect the integrity of our search results, but we’re also reluctant to alter our results by hand in order to prevent such items from showing up. Pranks like this may be distracting to some, but they don’t affect the overall quality of our search service, whose objectivity, as always, remains the core of our mission.