Google Drops Da Bomb On Googlebombing

So is George W. Bush a miserable failure or not? Google’s not saying any longer. You make the call.

Ever since Matt Cutts posted on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, the news has been spreading that Googlebombing is no more. When I originally heard the news I assumed this was something done manually, but Google says it’s being done algorithmically and who am I to argue.

By improving our analysis of the link structure of the web, Google has begun minimizing the impact of many Googlebombs. Now we will typically return commentary, discussions, and articles about the Googlebombs instead.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term here’s Matt’s definition of a Googlebomb.

Technically, a “Googlebomb” (sometimes called a “linkbomb” since they’re not specific to Google) refers to a prank where people attempt to cause someone else’s site to rank for an obscure or meaningless query.

When I first heard the news this morning I thought “I think I know what I’ll be blogging about tonight.” After doing a little research for this post my second thought was “Wow, there’s already so much information out there, maybe I should write about something else.” Then my third thought after beginning to read through some of what’s out there was “This story is going to be with us for a time as it’s an algorithmic change.”

I hear the third time is a charm or is it three strikes and you’re out. Well you’re reading this so you know what I went with.

There’s already a lot to read and I imagine there will be more to come over the weekend. I’ll leave you with some links where the story is being discussed for now while I continue reading myself. As I find more links over the weekend I’ll add them here.

And here’s the patent application Bill Slawski refers to for those who enjoy reading patents. Phrase-based indexing in an information retrieval system

A few quick thoughts to leave you with. Remember that the practice of linkbombing comes about from directing a number of links at a page with the same anchor text in order to rank that page for the anchor text. That’s pretty common to seo. Matt Cutts insists that the distinction is

With a Googlebomb, you’re causing someone else’s site to rank. With SEO, you’re promoting your own site.

Ask yourself how Google can know the difference algorithmically. Also note this comment from the Threadwatch post

You’ll notice this is the first ‘official’ indication that throwing enough links at someone can get their sites removed. I’m thinking it’s a heck of a lot easier to get tons of automated crap links to the three folks ahead of me than it is to develop enough ‘quality’ links to vault me into the top spot.

I’m sure there will be more over the weekend. This is an algorithm change and that’s something SEOs like to theorize about and debate.

Go read and I’ll do the same. As I find more information I’ll add the links here and depending on what I find I’ll add some of my own thoughts or save them for a new post after the weekend.

It’s also interesting to note the changes are Google only. George W. Bush is apparently still considered a ‘miserable failure’ at Yahoo, Live Search, and Ask.


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  1. Yeehaaa I had a blast covering the action. Interesting you mention the Phrase Based stuff. I found some intersting bits on BL calculations in one of the patents with a reference to ‘bomb’ .. I am following up..more soon..


  2. Thanks Dave. I’m still sorting through some of the info and hoping to get another post on the new algo change soon.

    I did see where the patent mentions bombs, which is interesting. I thought Matt Cutts lack or confirmation/denial was interesting too.

    Have you noticed any SERPs affected other than the obvious Googlebombs?

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