Googlebombs Burst

You may recall our conversation regarding Google Bombs (or Googlebombs) a month ago. Well, it looks like Google has had a change of heart. Or at least a few folks who work there have. They apparently got tired of some folks (not yours truly, of course) thinking that Google itself was creating these bogus search returns. As a reminder, my beef wasn’t with what the returns were (Bush as a “failure” or Kerry as a “waffle”), but that the engine itself was allowing these spurious results. It limits the usefulness of the search engine. They kids at the Big G have taken an automated approach that should help to cut down on the silliness.

A quick word about Googlebombs

Posted by Matt Cutts

1/25/2007 04:16:00 PM
Co-written with Ryan Moulton and Kendra Carattini

We wanted to give a quick update about “Googlebombs.” 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. The actual scale of this change is pretty small (there are under a hundred well-known Googlebombs), but if you’d like to get more details about this topic, read on.

People have asked about how we feel about Googlebombs, and we have talked about them in the past. Because these pranks are normally for phrases that are well off the beaten path, they haven’t been a very high priority for us. But over time, we’ve seen more people assume that they are Google’s opinion, or that Google has hand-coded the results for these Googlebombed queries. That’s not true, and it seemed like it was worth trying to correct that misperception. So a few of us who work here got together and came up with an algorithm that minimizes the impact of many Googlebombs.

Again, the impact of this new algorithm is very limited in scope and impact, but we hope that the affected queries are more relevant for searchers.

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