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Google Bomb

The term Google bomb (Google pump) refers to the artificial improvement of the SEO profile of a website in the Google search index. The inbound links that lead to the page in question are linked to a keyword that does not exist on that page and is thus not relevant to the search query entered. By placing a specifically large number of links for this purpose, you can achieve a higher ranking in Google search results. Sometimes Google's bombs are done like crowdsourcing where many webmasters link certain terms with a website.

Google Bombing is used for different purposes. These procedures are typically applied in a political context, where terms with negative connotations are entered on a politician's website. If the bombardment does not refer to Google, but to other search engines, it is also called link bombing or bombing, spamdexing, link and keyword spam or negative SEO. Regardless, the term Google blitz has prevailed as it is the leading search engine in many countries.

How originated

One of the first Google bombs targeting Microsoft's web was with the term "more evil than Satan himself" in 1999. AOL's search results were also affected, but not Yahoo's. Search queries in this time period show that this Google Bombing was more popular than many other keywords. Due to its wide reach, many recipients became aware of it and notified Google about the unusual search result. Google assumed that the search results were not tampered with and that it was not commercial spamdexing. Instead, Google initially assumed that this was the result of normal fluctuations in search results or on the world wide web.[1].

In the first place, politicians were the center of manipulation of positioning. They were usually caricatured and linked to defamatory terms. Adam Mathes published an article in 2001 that described the methodology of link bombing with an example. He linked the phrase "hack without talent" to the website of his friend Andy Pressman. Mathes first used the term "Google bombing"[2]. Later, the method was also used in the commercial sector to place websites in a much higher position in the rankings. Those responsible were a number of SEO agencies, which mass edited certain link texts and linked their clients' sites. Google countered with changes to algorithms and stricter guidelines for webmasters.

How does it work

In reality, the methodology that Google uses to examine the webs was exploited in an absurd way and mainly for political purposes. Google search results are still partially based on the PageRank algorithm. Evaluate the popularity of a web portal using the links directed to it and the terms that are listed for the anchor text. The more links with the corresponding terms are directed to a particular web portal, the stronger this web will be in the search results of those terms, according to the theory. In principle, it was feasible to link websites with terms that do not have completely any thematic link with the content of that web portal.

Google, despite everything, no longer evaluates websites only based on the frequency of links in the web content, but also on the relevance of the content. Added to this are thousands of more technical classification factors, related to content and structural, in general, more than 200 ranking factors are believed to exist. This method provides generally valid results, but was prone to ranking manipulation and SEO tricks due to the basic PageRank algorithm in the past. Google responded to the Google bombing with a filter algorithm, in which the manipulated search results were limited to contributions and comments. According to Matt Cutts, the link structure of websites is analyzed in such a way that suspected Google bombs can be identified and targeted. However, messages that provide information about the event itself are not selected, since they could clearly be relevant to a respective search request.

Adverse information retrieval was likely used to identify the Google bombs.[3]. Data that has been at least partially tampered with is used in the adverse IR. This includes methods to discover these manipulations. Textual and link-based patterns are searched for in order to detect manipulation based on its structure. Similar methods are used in spamming links, keywords and comments, cloaking, click fraud, and other black hat SEO techniques. Currently, Google is massively countering manipulative measures to ensure the objectivity of search results.

Examples of famous Google bombs

  • A well-known Google blitz was the search "miserable failure" in 2004. Opponents of then-US President George W. Bush placed their link to an official text on Bush, his White House profile page. This pump was retired in early 2007 with a new filtering algorithm[4].
  • The terms "weapons of mass destruction" were linked to a humorous website that stated that "these weapons of mass destruction cannot be displayed." This was a criticism of the previous approach of the United States government in Iraq.[5]. This Google bomb is also an example of media activism, since the public perception of a particular issue is supposed to change, which is also described as "hit and run by the media" and is similar to the kidnapping of news.
  • With the search query "world's worst gang" users were directed to a Google results page that offers users the statement "See results for: Creed." [6]
  • The terms "French military victories" were directed to a website that looked like a Google search results page. The web portal asked if the terms "French military defeats" were included, and states that there are no websites that contain the terms from the first search query.[7].

Relevance for SEO

The Google Bombing methodology made it clear that search results are caused only by algorithms and thus are not immune to manipulation. Google itself repeatedly stressed that, as a general rule, manual actions do not influence SERPs, despite the fact that there are already sanctions. Equivalent to reverse engineering - like Google bowling, various SEO contests, and Google scrubbing - the Google blitz is an attempt to intentionally change search results. Taking advantage of the dependencies of the PageRank algorithm, the results of the automatic procedure can be reversed. Due to the frequency of the links and the anchor text used, the websites could be entered in the SERPs that semantically had nothing to do with the search query. In this way, it can be assumed as thesis that these various Google bombs led to an improvement in search results, since since then Google has been placing more emphasis on thematic relevance, content depth and content structure and the profile of the links.

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