10.12.03

Google Bombing

Remember the post I did on searching for 'miserable failure' on Google? And another one from some months ago on searching for 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' (click on I'm feeling lucky for maximum effect). Well, there's a story on BBC website about that today.

It's done a process called Google bombing. The trick is possible because Google searches more than just the contents of web pages - it also counts how often a site is linked to, and with what words. Thus, members of an online community can affect the results of Google searches by linking their sites to a chosen one.

Blogger Adam Mathes is credited with inventing the practice in 2001, when he used it to link the phrase "talentless hack" to a friend's website. The Weapons of Mass Destruction site had over a million hits a week at one time.

The search engine can be manipulated by a fairly small group of users, one report suggested. Newsday newspaper says as few as 32 web pages with the words "miserable failure" link to the Bush biography.

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