Skip to comments.Have We Just Been Google-Bombed? (Clueless Barf Alert)
Posted on 06/01/2004 4:00:25 PM PDT by swilhelm73
WASHINGTON, 29 May 2004 When one googles Saudi Arabia on the Internet, you find that there are currently almost 7 million references listed. When you enter Saudi Arabia and terrorism together on Google, the most popular Internet search engine, you discover about 800,000 references. How Saudi Arabia Spreads Terrorism is the first and most prominent entry. You may have just been Google-bombed.
In the current issue of the New Yorker magazine, James Surowiecki, introduces the concept of Google-bombing to his readers and explains how people are now manipulating Google for their own ends.
Suroweicki points out that if you type in miserable failure and click the Im feeling lucky tab, you are not directed to an article about the Chicago Cubs baseball team, which hasnt won a World Series in over 50 years or a failed movie, but, rather to the White House website and the official biography of President George W. Bush. Youve been Google-bombed!
Google-bombing has now become more than a party game. Google is extremely efficient and makes decisions for you about the relative importance of the sources for the topic that you are searching.
How does Google work and how are the Google decisions made for us? According to Suroweicki, Google relies on the collective intelligence of the web itself. He points out that at the core of Googles technology is a voting system. Every website link to another website is treated as a vote and sites that get more votes are considered more valuable. In the Google system, these votes, in turn, are weighted to have more influence. Other factors like font size and word location are also taken into consideration, but the web pages that Google rates the best, are the pages that the entire web thinks are the best.
Suroweicki notes that an entire new industry has developed around the business of maximizing Google rankings. He refers to this business as the racket of search engine optimization. Some American companies literally have armies of programmers working in developing world countries solely to boost their Google rankings. He states that much of the work that that the optimizers do is reasonable and helps the companies do a better job of building pages to which others will want to link. He calls this work white hat tactics.
However, he also refers to the dark side of this business. This he calls black hat tactics which use index spammers who are adopting the methods and tricks of old political machines.
On the web, companies cloak or disguise the real content of their sites in attempting to trick Google into thinking that a page is relevant to a search. Some well-financed sources pay other sites to link to their sites to give an illusion of popularity. And some companies set up link farms a series of interconnected websites, which exist mainly to link to each other. And the major companies can, according to Suroweicki, buy thousands of domain names, set up websites and effectively create thousands of links out of nothing.
Google doesnt like to be tricked. It is about to launch its multibillion dollar IPO public stock offering and it could lose a lot of its credibility if Google-bombing continues to flourish.
The Google company recently submitted an IPO filing and it noted that the threat from index spammers was ongoing and increasing. Google has also launched a campaign to thwart this threat through various methods. But the tricksters will surely continue to try to outsmart Google with new methods and devices.
Now lets get back to Saudi Arabia on the web and the use of Google to research the Kingdom.
Years ago, when research was beginning through electronic means, it was exceptional to find more than a few references weekly to Saudi Arabia and Saudis. Through electronic news information sources today such as Lexus-Nexus and news web sources such as AOL or Yahoo, one now often finds more than 1000 references a day to Saudi Arabia. And the overwhelming majority of those sources are negative, particularly the initial pages and initial sources referenced.
Google is now the source of choice for web users and researchers. Whether one is a casual user of the web or an in-depth researcher, we go to Google. And no one is going to look at all of the 7 million references to Saudi Arabia.
Has Saudi Arabia been Google-bombed? Even a cursory look at Saudi Arabia and topics related to Saudi Arabia on Google gives the web user answers to this question. On the other hand, one can also easily google the topic of Israel. Israel currently has almost 31 million sources listed on Google. The topic of Israel seems to be loaded initially with mostly positive references.
Google-bombing can be used many different ways both positively and negatively. Pro-Israeli organizations are known for their hard work and effective use of public relations. Do we have black hat tacticians influencing the Internet when it comes to the terms Saudi Arabia And do these tacticians put on their white hat when it comes to Israel? Further research needs to be done to determine this, but it is certainly a topic that needs further exploration.
Try a little of this research yourself. Oh, and while youre at it; try entering the term weapons of mass destruction on Google and clicking Im feeling lucky. Look carefully at the next page Google-bombing at its best!
I think Google really needs to do something about Google-bombing, but the fact that "saudi arabia terrorism" brings up an article on Saudi Arabia and terrorism is kind of what's supposed to happen with a search engine.
Maybe. And maybe you've just hit the genuine best match.
The article is a fraud. I just put "Saudi Arabia" into Google, and except for a brand-new article on MSNBC.com about yesterday's hostage situation (an article which will drop way down in the rankings within days as links to it from other news sites dry up), I had to go all the way down to result number 36 to find a listing that could be considered even slightly negative towards Saudi Arabia.
I find manipulating the Google search to be offensive, no matter who does it and for what purpose.
Funny, that's not the first result I got.
Google is on record as saying they only allow Google-bombing for results that are of no actual relevance to life. For example, nobody would ever seriously need to use Google to find real results on the topic of "miserable failure," so they let it stand. But whenever some group of people tries to start screwing around with the results of a legitimate search topic, Google's staff will go in and manually tell the software to ignore the attempts.
I don't believe the Google results for "Saudi Arabia" + "terrorism" have been deliberately manipulated. It's like Googling "Roswell" + "aliens"
If this Saudi-buttboy is so upset that infidels persist in associating the Magic Kingdom with homicidal maniacs who fly airliners into skyscrapers then maybe he should just Google "Saudi Arabia" and then only "nice" royally-approved sites will be listed (in the top 10, at least)
That's funny! I just typed in "Chicken Pot Pie" and "Oven" in google and gosh darnit, I got a recipe for CHICKEN POT PIE!!!
It's a conspiracy I tell ya!!!
"I find manipulating the Google search to be offensive, no matter who does it and for what purpose."
I just find it really, really BORING!! Only a dimwitted newbie would find this crap amusing.
When I look up "Jew Watch" I expect to find a site where I can buy a timepiece with a Hebrew dial and not some nazi forum.
I didn't try it. I just think it's funny that they thought they were google bombed!
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