WOW, that is really freaky. :shock: I was directed, directly to George W. Bush's bio, LOL. For crying out loud!
Found this really interesting article, looking at the regular Google. I'm mystified by this. It's all new to me. Can't keep up with there here young 'uns.
Google Bombing! "Cyber Graffiti" :shock: :shock: :shock:
They're going to have to put out a new dictionary, like yesterday! I feel old!
Google's (and Inktomi's) Miserable Failure
By Danny Sullivan, Editor
January 6, 2004
By now, many have learned about how a search for miserable failure
on Google brings up the official George W. Bush biography from the
US White House web site. Dismissed by Google as not a problem, it
points out a case where the real miserable failure is Google
"Google Bombing" like this has happened in the past, and in
general, it has little impact on most people. Making a site come up
tops for a relatively obscure query such as "miserable failure,"
which brings back less than 200,000 matches, is much different than
exercising some super-control over Google for popular or
I've written about other examples of Google Bombing in the past
(Google Bombs Aren't So Scary) and why I think it tends to be
overplayed. But in this case, I find myself agreeing with The
Register's Andrew Orlowski, who discussed how blogging activity
might "googlewash" a term earlier this year. This is when the
originating document or original meaning of a term is lost due to
new material coming into the search results.
Unlike what Google claims in this latest incident, the results that
currently come up for miserable failure do not "reflect the opinion
on the web," nor is it true that "no user is hurt" or that there is
no "clearly legitimate site for 'miserable failure' being pushed
This Google Bombing was done by at most a few hundred links
pointing at the biography, if that many. Google annoyingly makes it
impossible to tell exactly how many links are involved using the
term, but to say that this particular campaign is the same as the
"opinion on the web" is absurd. So only a few hundred people are
able to speak for millions of web users? This isn't the web's
opinion -- it's a particular opinion on the web.
Users are also hurt, because there are indeed "legitimate" sites
for this query that get knocked down in the results.
What's a legitimate site? Seems like the Dick Gephardt For
President site deserves top ranking, since he appears to have
christened Bush's administration a "miserable failure" as part of
his campaign slogan. In short, Gephardt's site is an originating
source for this term and actually provides much more useful
information for those wondering how it relates to Bush than the
Rather than be first, Gephardt is ranked eighth. Only two weeks
ago, he was ranked third. At this rate, the game Google's happy for
people to play (see new entries of Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter
and Michael Moore) will have pushed Gephardt's site out of the top
results and into oblivion altogether.
Another good listing is an article from the Atlantic Monthly that
explores how Gephardt is using "miserable failure" as part of his
campaign to attack Bush. Again, this is a far more useful site for
users than ranking the Bush biography first. Only two weeks ago,
this was ranked second. Now the gaming has pushed it to fifth.
Calling Google Bombing "cybergraffiti" as the New York Times does
is appropriate. Google did have good listings for this query, for
the few who were probably doing it before this prank emerged. Now,
Google appears happy for this blogging campaign (and now new ones)
to spray paint whatever it wants above more relevant listings.
Again, most of the time this isn't a big deal. Arguing who should
be number one for "talentless hack," a past Google Bomb, is more of
an amusement. But "miserable failure" is a campaign slogan in a
major US presidential race. What comes up for it matters much more.
By the way, Inktomi also has Bush's biography coming up for
miserable failure, underscoring that link manipulation isn't just a
Google problem. It's a challenge that Google's most direct
crawler-competitor also faces. But Teoma, which uses a unique form
of link analysis, has escaped the bombing.
There's at least some good news for Bush. His former campaign store
web site is no longer number one on Google for what I'll
euphemistically call a search for "dumb Oedipus," as was the case
back at the beginning of 2001.
NOTE: There have been many developments since this story was
originally written. Search Engine Watch members have access to the
Link Bombing page that categorizes some related stories. See also
the Googlebombing Now A "Prank" And Not Web's Opinion, Says Google
article from Sept. 2005.