Definition

Google bomb

A Google bomb is an attempt to bias a search result on Google by increasing a Web page's PageRank algorithm not only considers keywords when determining PageRank, it also considers the number of other sites that link to a page and the words used in the link description. A successful Google bomb requires that a high number of Web sites (often blogs working together) link to a specific Web page using specific words in the hyperlink. Enlisting high-traffic sites is especially important when creating a Google bomb, as their outgoing hyperlinks weigh more in Google's search algorithm.

The first Google bomb occurred in 1999. While the creators remain anonymous, the existence of the bomb was revealed when pjammer, a user on memepool.com, posted a question that asked what Google found to be "more evil than satan himself." Users searching Google for the term found Microsoft's home page as the first link in the search results. The term itself was coined by Adam Mathes in 2001, when he wrote an article about how he bombed the term "talentless hack" to play a joke on a friend, graphic designer Andy Pressman.

One of the most famous Google bombs occured in 2004, when U.S. President George W. Bush was up for re-election. To experience this particular Google bomb, try searching for "miserable failure" on Google. The first return will be a link to the biography of George W. Bush on the official White House Web site. In order for the bomb to work, a large number of Web pages had to link to the White House biography page with the authors using the exact words "miserable failure" in their hyperlink descriptions.

This was last updated in November 2006
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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