Google Bomb Diffused

If you ever tried searching for “miserable failure” in Google in the past, you would have seen that a rather unrelated first place result — the homepage of the President of the United States of America. That’s especially absurd if you are a devoted Republican who support George W. Bush’s policies.

How could that happen? It is perceived that the power of anchor linking using the term is doing the job. It is performed by placing a link pointing to www.whitehouse.gov/president on text “miserable failure”. If Google notices a consistency of this anchor linking across many web sites, its algorithm can then identify that a search query for the term “miserable failure” will lead to that White House page of Pres. Bush.

The term appears meaningless to me but when I checked its popularity on Keyword Discovery, it has a search volume of 30,738, a relatively high number. A related check for anchor text frequency at Aaron Wall’s Competition Finder shows that it was used 799 times. The thing I am not sure of is if those anchor text numbers were all pointing to the same Bush profile page.

Recently, the same search phrase in Google will yield articles that discuss about that search result about President Bush, Michael Moore and ex-US President Jimmy Carter such as BBC’s news and Wikipedia’s explanation.

While it takes out some degree of power of the masses, surely this is a good development as search results will spit out more relevant results instead of producing those biased target pages. I believe it does not remove the amount of effectiveness of using the anchor text. The algorithm got rid of results whose text content does not contain the search query as a topic.

That Bush page (www.whitehouse.gov/president) is an appropriate result when the search query is “george w. bush” or “usa president” and not for “miserable failure”.