Googlebombs Are No More!


Google just announced that they will do something about Googlebombs. Googlebombs have become a problem ever since more and more people were attacked. Google has now decided to hand code a new algorithm just to minimize the affects of a Googlebomb. But why now after a dozen of people have been attacked? Why didn’t they do something about it from the beginning?

Rest of Googlebomb removal story at seo news blog.


+900 ?

+900 ?

Matt did answer that question :-)

"But why now after a dozen of people have been attacked? Why didn’t they do something about it from the beginning?"

In a comment on his blog, Matt did answer that question:

....there’s so many other things that impact users much more; I think that’s the main reason. But I’m glad that Google did get around to it. :)

hand code

Hand code a new aglo? What does that mean? they normally have robots doing their coding? :).

Seriously, I only see bad about this. 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.

'Google becomes George Bush and Tony Blair's 'agency of record'

Since Bush and Blair were exposed to the biggest Google Bombs, hence it's logical to say that they were the ones that were saved by Google.

Also since when did Google become Bush and Blair's PR and Ad Agency? This should of been a press release saying that Google is now Bush's 'Agency of Record'

My problem with this is not so much that they changed the algo.. that happens all the time.. my problem is that they changed the Algo to save Bush...

It was political.. not a web spam issue.. Because when I searched for 'Failure' I WAS looking for Bush's site.

Matt Cutts wrote:
When we're faced with a bad search result or a relevance problem

But this wasn't a bad search or relevance problem.. Bush is currently on par with Nixon in opinion polls.. my point I am trying to make is that the search is 1000% relevent.. and it deserves the #1 results..

The inital algo was correct... it properly took votes from thousands of blogs / websites and forum and assigned the proper ranks on how the general web population feels.

It was a manual hack that manually changed the votes. What's next start counting Chads?

Also since when did Google

Also since when did Google become Bush and Blair's PR and Ad Agency?

Since they'll both be out of jobs soon and G need some political house onboard to lobby on their behalf ?

Google are brilliant in their recruitment campaigns!

Too late for Bush, but

a little lateral thinking here and one can make the case that Bush provides Google the cover to save the other side of the aisle as they will now become the targets. Google even gets a few thanks from the Right who have now had their googlebombs disarmed.

G cant fight the spam anymore

So do u think by saying there are only under 100 bombs.. and that they came up with an algorithm for those... they are also saying that they cant prevent the other forms of link bombing?

It was a manual job to save Bush and Blair

look there are perhaps thousands of these things running... making a change via a macro scale would kill the serps because it's the exact same method that is used normally to rank sites.... in essance it was not 100 or 1000 or 50 English lanugage Google bombs...

It was a total of three changes... one to 'Talentless hack' because it was the inital one... another for 'Failure and Miserable' for Bush and another for 'liar' for Blair.

Tell me where Adobe has 'Click Here' on their site

This is the same general concept of Google Bombs... it just happened naturally for this one in terms of everyone and his brother linking to Adobe with 'click here to download adobe'

This was a manual job to save Bush and Blair.. period.

Middle of the Road

Why would they pick now? Its a little late for political saving.

Who knows

Who knows... the point is that it's already proven that it's not ALL Google Bombs.. it's just Bush's .. the click here search proves that.


I know its not All Google bombs... I'm just saying, I think this has little to do with Bush, and maybe more to do with trying them to dissuade people from trying to link bomb. At the same time, they are downright straying from what a link bomb is - calling it humor stuff. Well what about the 50,000 links for 'widgets' going to a site with one page. That aint a Google Bomb? I beg to differ. They are trying to save face.

If it had little to do with Bush

Then why was his honestly the only one mainly targeted.

It was manual,

I agree, but it wasn't to save Bush and Blair. It was done to create a precedent to save other politicians in the future. Now they can do a hand job on the Right if they try to Googlebomb Hillary or (insert name here). When the Right complains, they can then point to "saving Bush and Blair".

Google is learning quickly how to play the game and become politically ambiguous.

I figured the simplest

I figured the simplest answer is that for anti-spam purposes, Google now require more variation in anchor text to rank a page. As the Google Bombs were simply single keyword links, kill two birds with one stone.


The Founder, this wasn't

The Founder, this wasn't manual, it was an algorithm. It also counteracts the Googlebomb for e.g. [waffles] that brought up John Kerry, as well as Googlebombs in other languages such as ?????? . As far as the difference between Googlebombs and SEO, see where I talked about the difference.

Matt - First off I agree

Matt - First off I agree John Kerry is a waffler.

2nd - Does this now mean seo contests will prove once and for all who is the best seo?

Ok ...

I know I wasn't the one that worked on it.. so if you say it was not manual then I trust you on it..

But everyone is linking to Adobe with 'Click Here' ... it wasn't SEO that did it.. it just happened with everyone linking to Adobe with 'click here' to download Adobe.

It was external forces via backlinks that caused that page to rank.

Using the exact same method as the Bush Google bomb. Why is Adobe still ranking for 'click here' and Bush isn't for 'failure' if the exact same process was applied.. (External links going to a website)?

The word 'Click Here' is not on Adobe's site.. just as 'Failure' is not on Bush's.

Something is just weird with this.


Founder, you are a smart guy and i consider you a friend. But just remember, Google employs some very smart people who come up with smarter solutions than we can.

... at the same time - i agree, you would think if they solved the whole link bomb thing, then click here wouldn't show up. Also the New York Times for the word "home"


I agree with wheel...
>>>"I only see bad about this. You'll notice this is the first 'official' indication that throwing enough links at someone can get their sites removed."

I don't agree with MattKP...
>>>"Google employs some very smart people... who come up with smarter solutions than we can." (The bolded part is what I disagree with.)

As I wrote in Matts blog... *Unintended Consequences*

I can't wait to start bombing all my compeditors out of the SERP... Just told my monkeys to get started... Damn its gonna be a good day...

Tin foil..

this wasn't manual, it was an algorithm

A manual change to the algo, which was focused on clearing up the most embarrasing cases of 'tricking' Google.. perhaps

Why now? Cos both Bush and Blair are dead in the water. Do it before now, and Google would have to defend it more publically... perhaps..

algo vs. hand job

The Founder, you have a very good point, but I could see a algorithmic difference between the two examples. For instance, most of the links for Bush with 'failure' are coming out of blogs and other types of social websites, forums, wikis, etc.. Where with the adobe 'click here' example much of those links are from less dynamic (content wise) websites. Many of the sites with 'click here' links are businesses. It wouldn't be that hard for G to put each type of link into two different buckets.



No Doubt Google has some of the best minds in the business, but there are two things without limitation human creativity and human stupidity. Combine either of those to with some determination and you can come up with a whole array of things logically thinking people like googlers people won't anticipate or plan for.

Here's the algo

Here's their algorithm:

1) Read input file.
2) If URL exists in input file for term, don't rank.

And the contents of the input file:
John Kerry, waffles
George Bush, miserable failure

So you can see how this algorithm takes care of the Adobe case.

@ littleman

so the solution is to make a static page for future Google Bombs?

The point I am trying to make is until Adobe stops ranking for 'Click Here' a google bomb is still very possible.

This will help their lobbying efforts

Google is growing up. Smart.

Google now devalues Freedom of Speach

Matt's statement on SEL (that the basic difference between bona fide optimization vs. Googlebombing is that one is optimizing one's own content for a term vs. optimizing someone else's content) is either overly simplified or just downright a bad philosophy.

If you have large numbers of sites that are unrelated or not commonly controlled by the same person, and they all link over to a page or site with a particular term in link text, those links should likely be counted as valid opinions and not be edited/sanitized.

If an entire user community wants to link over to a page using particular terms, it's not right that those opinions would be discounted.

It seems terribly apropos that President Bush would be a prime inspiration behind Google exercising unnecessary limitations on Freedom of Speach.

@ Founder

Yeah, its always been a cat and mouse game.

Not about free speech

"Google exercising unnecessary limitations on Freedom of Speach."

You can still write whatever you want and have it indexed. Google is not taking away any of our wonderful rights. It's their engine and they can do anything they want with it.

It is?

You'll notice this is the first 'official' indication that throwing enough links at someone can get their sites removed.

I only skimmed this... so I'm not saying you're wrong, but where was that said?

I mean, let's assume it is algorithmic, the logic is not that complicated. Whatever their method, hopefully it's more advanced, but it's simple why Adobe is still ranking for "click here". It's not a google bomb. It doesn't have things in common with all other googlebombs. A) It's not highly composed of blog and social networking links. B) If you were to do c-indexing for term-correlation you would not find "adobe" and "click here" to be high frequency words in conjunction with "googlebomb".

There's easily another dozen checks and balances to normalize things.

I just don't really see it being that difficult of a pattern to detect and to discern from natural link bloom that occurs in a similar structure to a googlebomb.

Google--Taking the fun out of the internet since 2007

I will miss the Google Bomb. Some of them were very funny!!!

Alas, if I am searching for Weapons Of Mass Destruction, I want to find the modify 404 page!


Doing a search for "leave" or "leave now" still brings up the Disney site too. (The Adobe thing isn't the only example.)


Proof that 100 million links from porn sites aren't a bad thing.


I have an observation. Although Google is not implicitly listing the site for those terms anymore...

You can see that they are still associating terms with the URL...

When you look at the term in whole, on the second page of Google results... you do end up on a page that ... OMG Matt Cutts, they "want" to rank for this term....
** text at bottom of my post, if you are lazy :)

Ok, ok. So they aren't "actively" trying to rank for this term, but if it is on their site,
does this go back to the whole "pages" rank well for terms vs. sites?

And if so, if some one made a comment with miserable failure in it and posted it to the white house URL where one of the Bush bios was, does that imply that the white house itself wants Miserable Failure to rank on the target URL on the same site? And thus 're-ignite' the failure/miserable/miserable failure bomb?

Better yet, will a "no follow" in these comment tags on their own site, kill any relevance in the algo. Such that the site then does not re-target itself?

Sorry.. just thinking a little out loud.

"George, from Seattle, WA writes:
When is President Bush going to call an all-station press conference and discuss with the American people the information in the recent WMD interim report which all major media except Fox News channel has ignored? When is he going to start telling the American people about all the successes we have had in rebuilding Iraq - and destroy the facade of "miserable failure" his democratic challengers have created, with the willing help of most major media outlets in America?"


Doing a search for "leave" or "leave now" still brings up the Disney site too. (The Adobe thing isn't the only example.)



>>>"It's their engine and they can do anything they want with it."

As a matter of fact google is a PUBLIC company owned by share holders and no they can't do anything they want, even if a few employees think they can.

It is becoming more and more obvious that ONLY specific political leaning googlebombs were addressed.

Looks to me like Matt & company opened a great big can of real mean political worms...

When the political blogs figure this out they are gonna want someone's head on a platter...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.