- Great Painters
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
- Concept Cars
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Adobe Reader
  2. Adware
  3. Altavista
  4. AOL
  5. Apple Macintosh
  6. Application software
  7. Arrow key
  8. Artificial Intelligence
  9. ASCII
  10. Assembly language
  11. Automatic translation
  12. Avatar
  13. Babylon
  14. Bandwidth
  15. Bit
  16. BitTorrent
  17. Black hat
  18. Blog
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Bulletin board system
  21. Byte
  22. Cache memory
  23. Celeron
  24. Central processing unit
  25. Chat room
  26. Client
  27. Command line interface
  28. Compiler
  29. Computer
  30. Computer bus
  31. Computer card
  32. Computer display
  33. Computer file
  34. Computer games
  35. Computer graphics
  36. Computer hardware
  37. Computer keyboard
  38. Computer networking
  39. Computer printer
  40. Computer program
  41. Computer programmer
  42. Computer science
  43. Computer security
  44. Computer software
  45. Computer storage
  46. Computer system
  47. Computer terminal
  48. Computer virus
  49. Computing
  50. Conference call
  51. Context menu
  52. Creative commons
  53. Creative Commons License
  54. Creative Technology
  55. Cursor
  56. Data
  57. Database
  58. Data storage device
  59. Debuggers
  60. Demo
  61. Desktop computer
  62. Digital divide
  63. Discussion groups
  64. DNS server
  65. Domain name
  66. DOS
  67. Download
  68. Download manager
  69. DVD-ROM
  70. DVD-RW
  71. E-mail
  72. E-mail spam
  73. File Transfer Protocol
  74. Firewall
  75. Firmware
  76. Flash memory
  77. Floppy disk drive
  78. GNU
  79. GNU General Public License
  80. GNU Project
  81. Google
  82. Google AdWords
  83. Google bomb
  84. Graphics
  85. Graphics card
  86. Hacker
  87. Hacker culture
  88. Hard disk
  89. High-level programming language
  90. Home computer
  91. HTML
  92. Hyperlink
  93. IBM
  94. Image processing
  95. Image scanner
  96. Instant messaging
  97. Instruction
  98. Intel
  99. Intel Core 2
  100. Interface
  101. Internet
  102. Internet bot
  103. Internet Explorer
  104. Internet protocols
  105. Internet service provider
  106. Interoperability
  107. IP addresses
  108. IPod
  109. Joystick
  110. JPEG
  111. Keyword
  112. Laptop computer
  113. Linux
  114. Linux kernel
  115. Liquid crystal display
  116. List of file formats
  117. List of Google products
  118. Local area network
  119. Logitech
  120. Machine language
  121. Mac OS X
  122. Macromedia Flash
  123. Mainframe computer
  124. Malware
  125. Media center
  126. Media player
  127. Megabyte
  128. Microsoft
  129. Microsoft Windows
  130. Microsoft Word
  131. Mirror site
  132. Modem
  133. Motherboard
  134. Mouse
  135. Mouse pad
  136. Mozilla Firefox
  137. Mp3
  138. MPEG
  139. MPEG-4
  140. Multimedia
  141. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  142. Netscape
  143. Network card
  144. News ticker
  145. Office suite
  146. Online auction
  147. Online chat
  148. Open Directory Project
  149. Open source
  150. Open source software
  151. Opera
  152. Operating system
  153. Optical character recognition
  154. Optical disc
  155. output
  156. PageRank
  157. Password
  158. Pay-per-click
  159. PC speaker
  160. Peer-to-peer
  161. Pentium
  162. Peripheral
  163. Personal computer
  164. Personal digital assistant
  165. Phishing
  166. Pirated software
  167. Podcasting
  168. Pointing device
  169. POP3
  170. Programming language
  171. QuickTime
  172. Random access memory
  173. Routers
  174. Safari
  175. Scalability
  176. Scrollbar
  177. Scrolling
  178. Scroll wheel
  179. Search engine
  180. Security cracking
  181. Server
  182. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  183. Skype
  184. Social software
  185. Software bug
  186. Software cracker
  187. Software library
  188. Software utility
  189. Solaris Operating Environment
  190. Sound Blaster
  191. Soundcard
  192. Spam
  193. Spamdexing
  194. Spam in blogs
  195. Speech recognition
  196. Spoofing attack
  197. Spreadsheet
  198. Spyware
  199. Streaming media
  200. Supercomputer
  201. Tablet computer
  202. Telecommunications
  203. Text messaging
  204. Trackball
  205. Trojan horse
  206. TV card
  207. Unicode
  208. Uniform Resource Identifier
  209. Unix
  210. URL redirection
  211. USB flash drive
  212. USB port
  213. User interface
  214. Vlog
  215. Voice over IP
  216. Warez
  217. Wearable computer
  218. Web application
  219. Web banner
  220. Web browser
  221. Web crawler
  222. Web directories
  223. Web indexing
  224. Webmail
  225. Web page
  226. Website
  227. Wiki
  228. Wikipedia
  229. WIMP
  230. Windows CE
  231. Windows key
  232. Windows Media Player
  233. Windows Vista
  234. Word processor
  235. World Wide Web
  236. Worm
  237. XML
  238. X Window System
  239. Yahoo
  240. Zombie computer

This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 

Google bomb

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A Google bomb is Internet slang for a certain kind of attempt to influence the ranking of a given page in results returned by the Google search engine, often with humorous or political intentions.[1] Because of the way that Google's algorithm works, a page will be ranked higher if the sites that link to that page use consistent anchor text. A Google bomb is created if a large number of sites link to the page in this manner. Google bomb is used both as a verb and a noun. The phrase "Google bombing" was introduced to the New Oxford American Dictionary in May 2005.[2] Google bombing is closely related to spamdexing, the practice of deliberately modifying HTML pages to increase the chance of their being placed close to the beginning of search engine results, or to influence the category to which the page is assigned in a misleading or dishonest manner.

The term Googlewashing was coined in 2003 for using similar a technique for media manipulation to change the perception of a term, or push out competition from SERPs. (See Second Superpower#"Googlewashing".)


Before Google existed, in 1997 Archimedes Plutonium, an eccentric poster to Usenet science newsgroups upset with the attention he received from people who found him amusing, angrily accused them of "SearchEnginebombing," an offshoot of e-mail bombing, i. e. cluttering the web/USENET with negative comments about him, so a search engine would find more of them than his own postings. Unlike "Google Bombing", the term "Search Engine Bombing" didn't immediately catch on, and initially its use has been primarily limited to Archimedes Plutonium and USENET posters who mocked him.[3]


The technique was first discussed on April 6, 2001 in an article by Adam Mathes in the online zine[4] In that article, he coined the term "Google bombing" and explained how he discovered that Google used the technique to calculate page rankings. He found that a search for "internet rockstar" returned the website of a Ben Brown as the first result, even though "internet rockstar" did not appear anywhere on Brown's webpage. He reasoned that Google's algorithm returned it as the first result because many fan sites that linked to Brown's website used that phrase on their own pages.

Mathes began testing his theory by setting out to make the website of his friend Andy Pressman the number one result for a query of "talentless hack". He gave instructions for creating websites and links to Pressman's website with the text of the link reading "talentless hack". Sure enough, as other webloggers joined in his Google bombing campaign, Pressman's website became the number one result in a Google search for "talentless hack." (By 2004, Mathes's own site was the number one Google result of this search term, and as of December 2006, the Wikipedia article Google bomb is the number three result for this search.)

Nevertheless, the first discovery of the possibility of a Google bomb was probably accidental. Users discovered that the search "more evil than satan himself" would bring Microsoft homepage to the top of the results page, leading many to believe that Google's results could be manipulated intentionally.[5]

Life cycle of a bomb

Google bombs often end their life by becoming too popular or well known: they typically end up being mentioned in multiple well-regarded websites, which themselves then knock the bomb off the top spot.

In addition, all major search engines make use of link analysis and thus can be impacted: a search for "miserable failure" or "failure" on September 29, 2006 brought up the official George W. Bush biography number one on Google, Yahoo! and MSN and number two on On June 2, 2005, Yooter reported that George Bush is now ranked first for the keyword 'miserable', 'failure' and 'miserable failure' in both Google and Yahoo! (This page is currently the 4th when searching for 'miserable failure.') And on September 16, 2005, Marissa Mayer wrote on Google Blog about the practice of Google bombing and the word "failure." (See Google's response below). Other large political figures have been targeted for Google bombs: on January 6, 2006, Yooter reported that Tony Blair is now indexed in the U.S. and UK versions of Google for the keyword 'liar'.

The BBC, reporting on Google bombs in 2002, actually used the headline "Google Hit By Link Bombers"[6], acknowledging to some degree the idea of "link bombing." In 2004, the Search Engine Watch site suggested that the term should be "link bombing" because of the impact beyond Google, and continues to use that term as it is considered more accurate.[7]

Other effects

In some cases, the phenomenon has produced competing attempts to use the same search term as a Google bomb. As a result, the first result at any given time varies, but the targeted sites will occupy all the top slots using a normal search instead of "I'm feeling lucky". Notable instances of this include "failure" and "miserable failure". The primary targets have been the Bush biography mentioned above, and Michael Moore's website.

Other search engines use similar techniques to rank results, so Yahoo!, AltaVista, and HotBot are also affected by Google bombs. A search of "miserable failure" or "failure" on the aforementioned search engines produces the biography of George W. Bush listed at the White House site as the first link on the list. Only a few search engines, such as, MetaCrawler and ProFusion, do not produce the same first links as the rest of the search engines. MetaCrawler and ProFusion are metasearch engines which use multiple search engines.

Google's response

Google defends its search algorithm as generally effective and an accurate reflection of opinion on the Internet. They further state that, though some may be offended by the links which appear as the result of Google bombs, that Google has little or no control over the practice and will not individually edit search results due to the fact that a bomb may have occurred.

Marissa Mayer, Director of Consumer Web Products for Google, wrote on the official Google Blog in September 2005:[8]

We don't condone the practice of Google bombing, 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.



In May 2004, the websites Dark Blue and SearchGuild teamed up to create what they termed the "SEO Challenge" to Google bomb the phrase "nigritude ultramarine".

The contest sparked controversy around the Internet, as some groups worried that search engine optimization (SEO) companies would abuse the techniques used in the competition to alter queries more relevant to the average user. This fear was offset by the belief that Google would alter their algorithm based on the methods used by the Google bombers.

In September 2004, another SEO contest was created. This time, the objective was to get the top result for the phrase "seraphim proudleduck". A large sum of money was offered to the winner, but the competition turned out to be a hoax.

In .net magazine, Issue 134, March 2005, a contest was created among five professional web site developers to make their site the number one listed site for the made-up phrase "crystalline incandescence".

Political activism

Main article: Political Google bombs

Some of the most famous Google bombs are also expressions of political opinion (e.g. "liar" leading to Tony Blair or "miserable failure", or even simply "failure" leading to the White House's biography of George W. Bush). In general, one of the keys to Google's popularity has been its ability to capture what ordinary web citizens believe to be important via the information provided in webpage links. However, Google is reluctant to stop organized or commercial exploitation of their algorithms.

One extremely successful, long-lasting and widespread link bomb has been the linking of the term "Scientology" to Operation Clambake. In this case, the index rating clearly emerges from both the individual decisions of pagewriters and reporters and an organized effort led by Operation Clambake itself. The Church of Scientology has also sometimes been accused of an attempt at Google bombing for making a large number of websites linking terms "Scientology" and "L. Ron Hubbard" to each other.[9]

In 2004, Jewish writer and activist Daniel Sieradski urged visitors to his blog to link to the Wikipedia article for "Jew" in response to findings that a search for "Jew" returned the anti-Semitic website Jew Watch at the top of the results. The campaign met with mixed success, temporarily displacing the site from the top result but not removing it from the top rankings altogether.[10]

Another campaign was organized by columnist Dan Savage after former US Senator Rick Santorum made several controversial statements regarding homosexuality. The Google bombing was part of Savage's campaign to start using the word "santorum" for a sexual term, and propelled the website created for that purpose to a high result for "santorum".[11]

In France, groups opposing the DADVSI copyright bill, proposed by minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, mounted a Google bombing campaign linking ministre blanchisseur ("laundering minister") to an article recalling Donnedieu de Vabres' conviction for money laundering. The campaign was so efficient that, as of 2006, merely searching for ministre ("minister") or blanchisseur ("launderer") brings up a news report of his conviction as one of the first results.[12]

In the 2006 US midterm elections, many left-leaning bloggers, led by, banded together to propel neutral or negative articles about many Republican House candidates to the top of Google searches for their names.

Commercial bombing

Main article: spamdexing

Some website operators have adapted Google bombing techniques to do spamdexing. This activity is commonly thought to be unscrupulous among internet users. This includes, among other techniques, posting of links to a site in an Internet forum along with phrases the promoter hopes to associate with the site (see Spam in blogs). Unlike conventional message board spam, the object is not to attract readers to the site directly, but to increase the site's ranking under those search terms. Promoters using this technique frequently target forums with low reader traffic, in hopes that it will fly under the moderators' radar. Wikis in particular are often the target of this kind of page rank vandalism, as all of the pages are freely editable.

Another technique is for the owner of an Internet domain name to set up the domain's DNS entry so that all subdomains are directed to the same server. The operator then sets up the server so that page requests generate a page full of desired Google search terms, each linking to a subdomain of the same site, with the same title as the subdomain in the requested URL. Frequently the subdomain matches the linked phrase, with spaces replaced by underscores or hyphens. Since Google treats subdomains as distinct sites, the effect of a large number of subdomains linking to each other is a boost to the PageRank of those subdomains and of any other site they link to.

On 2 February 2005, many have noticed changes in the Google algorithm that largely affects, among other things, Google bombs: only roughly 10% of the Google bombs listed below worked as of 15 February 2005. This is largely due to Google refactoring its valuation of PageRank.[13]

Quixtar's bomb

The MLM company Quixtar has been accused by its critics of using its large network of websites to move sites critical of Quixtar lower in search engine rankings. A Quixtar IBO reports that a Quixtar leader advocated the practice in a meeting of Quixtar IBO's. Quixtar denies wrongdoing and states that its practices are in accordance with search engine rules.[14]

One weblog has engaged in anti-Quixtar google bombing, and openly advocates the practice. [15]

See also

  • Google juice
  • Googlewhack
  • Spamdexing
  • Link doping
  • 302 Google Jacking
  • Political Google bombs


  1. ^ Tom Zeller Jr. "A New Campaign Tactic: Manipulating Google Data," New York Times (Late Edition (East Coast)) 26 October, 2006. pg. A.20
  2. ^ Search Engine Watch article on addition of "Google Bomb" to dictionary.
  3. ^ Archimedes Plutonium: Emailbombing, now SearchEnginebombing, sci.logic,, 11 September 1997.
  4. ^ Adam Mathes: Filler Friday: Google Bombing. April 6, 2001
  5. ^ Search Engine Watch article on "more evil then satan himself" discovery.
  6. ^ Google Hit By Link Bombers, BBC 13 March 2002
  7. ^ Yooter SEO blog
  8. ^ Article from Marissa Mayer on Google's official blog regarding Google bombing
  9. ^ Report on Scientology's activities with Google.
  10. ^ CNet article discussing the Google bomb.
  11. ^
  12. ^ French Web page describing "laundering minister" Google bomb.
  13. ^ Google Answers explanation of algorithm changes.
  14. ^ Glaser, Mark. "Companies subvert search results to squelch criticism." June 1, 2005. USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review. Accessed December 1, 2006.
  15. ^ The Amway/Quixtar Google Bomb project

External links

  • Deconstructing Google Bombs

News articles

  • Google hit by link bombers - BBC News, March 13, 2002
  • Top of the Heap - Business 2.0, July 2002 - Ego bombing
  • Engineering Google Results to Make a Point - NY Times, January 22, 2004
  • Student trying to 'bomb' Kerry - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 16, 2004
  • Dropping 'Google-bombs' - San Diego Union-Tribune, June 14, 2004
  • The war on the web: Anthony Cox describes how his spoof error page turned into a 'Google bomb' for weapons of mass destruction. - The Guardian, July 10, 2003
Retrieved from ""