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FoxNews Discovers Googlebombing

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One big network arrives just a teensy bit late to the search engine party as it discovers odd links to “failure.”

FoxNews Discovers Googlebombing
Fox News Learns About Google Bombing

FoxNews personality John Gibson wrote on Friday about discovering how the word “failure” brings up the official White House web site as the first result. Mr. Gibson has, probably through an email from a viewer, discovered the practice of Googlebombing.

Mr. Gibson discusses what the search engine community already knows: that googlebombing is a practice of using anchor text in hyperlinks. Since the Google algorithm sees lots of links to the same place from different sites, all with the same anchor text, it assumes the destination site is authoritative for that term, and up the search rarnkings it goes.

Apparently the attention prompted someone at Google to make a response. A Google search for “failure” brings up as the top AdWords placement this text:

www.google.com/googleblog


In the blog entry, Google’s Marissa Mayer, Director of Consumer Web Products, acknowledges receiving complaints about the apparent bias, and denounces those who practice Googlebombing. “We don’t condone the practice of googlebombing, or any other action that seeks to affect the integrity of our search results, but we’re also reluctant to alter our results by hand in order to prevent such items from showing up,” she posted.

A peek at the top of Google’s executive structure could give those with particular political views a dose of skepticism. Al Gore holds a position as a consultant to Google’s senior executives. CEO Eric Schmidt held a fundraiser for Al Gore in 2000, an event found in Google’s vast database by Cnet News reporter Google+balances+privacy,+reach/2100-1032_3-5787483.html”>Elinor Mills and subsequently reported by her. That action has caused Google to refuse to speak with Cnet reporters until next July, a response that will likely be a case study for public relations courses everywhere.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

FoxNews Discovers Googlebombing
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