Main | Monday, January 26, 2009

Google-Bomb Boomerang

Remember how hilarious it was to Google-bomb Dubya so that searches for "miserable failure" brought up his name? Now those same searches are finding our new president.
In 2003, haters of President George W. Bush with a mean streak and tech savvy managed to Google-bomb him as a “miserable failure” — meaning that a rash of users linked Bush’s name to the words “miserable failure” so that if the term was Googled, Web sites referencing him would show up higher in the search. Even though Google eventually diffused the phenomenon in 2007 by improving the link structure surrounding the term, now Obama may be dealing with the aftermath.

According to a Search Engine Land article, Obama is inheriting all the old links from Bush’s biography to the term “miserable failure” because the link to his biography was swapped for Bush’s on the White House site on Inauguration Day. As a result, a search for “miserable failure” on Yahoo will likely yield Obama’s biography, and on Google, a search for “failure” will do the same. Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Land, observes that Bush’s bio should be redirected to a page on about the history of U.S. presidents, that the link to the current president’s biography should be killed and the biography placed elsewhere since the current Google-bomb association is still showing up.
Supposedly Google has changed their search algorithm to make it harder to conduct a successful Google-bombing campaign.

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