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Googlebomb now a dud?

the Google logoWhen is a bomb not a bomb? When it’s a Googlebomb! But even the Googlebomb is no longer the bomb that it was. However light-hearted this commentary could have been, there are some serious consequences of Googlebombing campaigns, some of which have political aspects to be considered.

By way of some background, here’s the skinny on what a Googlebomb is and does, right from the horses mouth:

“Technically, a ‘Googlebomb’ (sometimes called a ‘linkbomb’ since they’re not specific to Google) refers to a prank where people attempt to cause someone else’s site to rank for an obscure or meaningless query. Googlebombs very rarely happen for common queries, because the lack of any relevant results for that phrase is part of why a Googlebomb can work. One of the earliest Googlebombs was for the phrase “talentless hack,” for example.”

But what makes this change to Google’s algorithm that bit more politically charged is the timing:

“Since Bush and Blair were exposed to the biggest Google Bombs, hence it’s logical to say that they were the ones that were saved by Google.

Also since when did Google become Bush and Blair’s PR and Ad Agency? This should of been a press release saying that Google is now Bush’s ‘Agency of Record’

My problem with this is not so much that they changed the algo.. that happens all the time.. my problem is that they changed the Algo to save Bush…”

The above is a comment left on a Thread Watch article covering the Googlebomb algorithm, or “algo” change which is itself in reference to:

“The classic example, where the term ‘miserable failure’ was linked to George Bush’s page on [White House website.]”

While I’m positive Google were being mindful of the possible damage being inflicted upon Messers Blair & Bush, I’d say that their actions were an attempt to redress the fairness of the contest went forward unmolested.

Additionally, in doing so to help keep the Google search engine an impartial and strictly neutral theatre of war, so to speak, one that has a very level playing field, no matter whether you come from the left or the right.

By not allowing one side to gain a perceived unfair advantage by tipping the search results balance away from their opponents, Google seems to have (quite inevitably) fallen foul of one crowd while finding the favour of another.

On the Internet, it seems politics are no less the social pariah they are in the really real world…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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