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Googlebombing

Well, it may have taken just over a month, but I was overjoyed to discover (thanks to Pete) last night that our efforts have paid off. At least until Google updates their index again, there can be no doubt what is the rudest pub in Islington:

http://www.google.com/search?q=rudest+pub+in+islington

(even better, it’s also http://www.google.com/search?q=rudest+pub)

As fantastic as this is, though, it doesn’t give me the greatest confidence in the future of everyone’s favourite search engine. As far as I know, there are only 3 websites googlebombing the website of the rudest pub in Islington. Surely it shouldn’t be that easy, should it? Just as Groucho Marx once famously stated that he didn’t want to join a club that would have him as a member, I’m not sure I want to trust the veracity of the search results generated by a search engine that can be manipulated so easily by me…

UPDATE: Ha! The Register reckons that Googlebombing a site using only 5 domains might be a record. Nothing of the sort. Clearly 3 websites is the figure to beat…

8 thoughts on “Googlebombing”

  1. Lol the advertising scheme of the rudest pub is ingenious!
    Seriously. All you have managed is to make the pub famous all over the world. Are you positive that this was your target?

  2. Well, I suppose you could argue that no publicity is bad publicity. It certainly wasn’t my intention to promote the pub around the world–this isn’t some kind of marketing scam, it was, honestly, just a joke…

  3. So all I do is to put up a link to the pub with the link text “rudest pub in Islington”. Is that really all it takes? Its scary.
    regards techidiot, Oslo

  4. Essentially yes: but you need more than one link to make it work. In this case, it only took three (the other two initial links are on the weblogs of my friends Angel and Pete), but usually you would need a lot more links.

    It does actually make sense for this to work: Google’s search philosophy is that what people are saying about a site is important, as well as what is actually on the site.

    There are a couple of reasons why it worked this time with so few links:
    – there weren’t many links to the pub’s website before we started this
    – there weren’t many results for the search query “rudest pub”
    – the results that did exist had both words on the same page, but not together (you might describe a pub’s staff as rude, but you probably wouldn’t describe the pub as rude).

    It would be much more difficult to do this to a site that already has lots of incoming links (you would probably need to create more new incoming links with your googlebomb in them than there were current links), and it would also probably be harder to do this for a more common phrase that already has good search results.

    Still, that said, I can’t believe it worked!

  5. Nice work, I am very impressed with the effectiveness of your experiment.

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