October 9, 2005
On Google Bombing
Deconstructing Google bombs: A breach of symbolic power or just a goofy prank? by Clifford Tatum, First Monday (October 2005)
The practice of Google bombing is a collective hyperlinking strategy intended to change the search results of a specific term or phrase. In this study I compare two Google bombs; the "miserable failure" and the "Jew." The "miserable failure" Google bomb promoted George W. Bush’s home page to the number one Page Ranking resulting from a search of the phrase "miserable failure." The "Jew" Google bomb was a successful effort to demote an anti–Semitic Web site from the number one Page Rank resulting from a search of the term "Jew." This effort resulted in the promotion of the wikipedia.org definition of "Jew" (Wikipedia, 2005) to the number one position.
Adam Mathes first coined the term "Google bombing" in an April 2001 online article, entitled "Filler Friday: Google Bombing" (Mathes, 2001). In this article Mathes describes how he discovered part of the technique Google uses to calculate Page Rankings. Mathes’ discovery was based on the perpetuation of linking the words "internet rockstar" to the Web site of his friend, Ben Brown. There were earlier reports of influencing Google’s ranking order when it was noted in 1999 that the search query for "more evil than Satan" would return Microsoft’s home page (Spring, 1999).
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