Google bombing

Share This
« Back to Glossary Index

Originating in 1999, Google[1] bombing is a digital phenomenon that was named by Adam Mathes in 2001. It embodies the act of exploiting Google’s search engine algorithms to sway public opinion or attract press coverage. This exploitation is often achieved via linking strategies aimed at pushing a particular webpage to the top of search results for unrelated or negative keywords. Over time, the methods of Google bombing have transformed, being employed in media assaults or spoof campaigns. Changes in Google’s algorithm[2] and indexing system, however, have reduced the potency of Google bombing. Even so, Google bombing continues to be a contentious issue due to its potential misuse in Google bowling – the act of decreasing competitors’ rankings, and in commercial spamdexing.

Terms definitions
1. Google ( Google ) Primarily acknowledged for its search engine, Google is a universally esteemed technology corporation. The company, established in 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, has expanded significantly, branching out into numerous tech-related fields. Google offers a wide array of services and products, encompassing Android, YouTube, Cloud, Maps, and Gmail. It also manufactures hardware like Chromebooks and Pixel smartphones. Since 2015, Google has been a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. and is celebrated for its inventive spirit and workplace environment that promotes employees' personal projects. Despite confronting several ethical and legal challenges, Google continues to influence the tech sector with its groundbreaking innovations and technological progress, including the creation of Android OS and the purchase of companies specializing in AI.
2. algorithm. A set of instructions or rules that are clearly defined and offer a solution to a specific problem or task is known as an algorithm. With roots tracing back to ancient civilizations, algorithms have undergone centuries of evolution and today play a pivotal role in contemporary computing. Techniques such as divide-and-conquer are utilized in their creation and their efficiency is assessed via metrics such as big O notation. Algorithms can be depicted in multiple ways, including pseudocode, flowcharts, or programming languages. To execute them, they are translated into a language comprehensible to computers, with the execution speed being influenced by the utilized instruction set. Depending on their design or implementation paradigm, algorithms can be categorized differently, and their level of efficiency can greatly affect processing time. In fields like computer science and artificial intelligence, the comprehension and effective application of algorithms is vital.
Google bombing (Wikipedia)

The terms Google bombing and Googlewashing refer to the practice of causing a website to rank highly in web search engine results for irrelevant, unrelated or off-topic search terms by linking heavily. In contrast, search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the search engine listings of web pages for relevant search terms.

An example of Google bombing in 2006 that caused the search query "miserable failure" to be associated with George W. Bush and Michael Moore

Google-bombing is done for either business, political, or comedic purposes (or some combination thereof). Google's search-rank algorithm ranks pages higher for a particular search phrase if enough other pages linked to it use similar anchor text. By January 2007, however, Google had tweaked its search algorithm to counter popular Google bombs such as "miserable failure" leading to George W. Bush and Michael Moore; now, search results list pages about the Google bomb itself. Since no later than 21 June 2015, the first result in a Google search for "miserable failure" is this article. Used both as a verb and a noun, "Google bombing" was introduced to the New Oxford American Dictionary in May 2005.

Google bombing is related to spamdexing, the practice of deliberately modifying HTML to increase the chance of a website 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 by Andrew Orlowski in 2003 in order to describe the use of media manipulation to change the perception of a term, or push out competition from search engine results pages (SERPs).

« Back to Glossary Index
Keep up with updates