Google Bomb Returns, Hits Microsoft

    March 26, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

A user of the Yelp social network managed to add an image to a Google Maps info box displayed for Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters that the company probably would not have chosen for itself.

Google Bomb Returns, Hits Microsoft
Google Bomb Returns, Hits Microsoft

The familiar four-paned window icon Microsoft uses to represent its signature operating system came in for a little defacement.

The vandalism showed up in a very public place, right on the Google Maps search result for Microsoft

The image has since been taken down. A copy of it appeared on ZDNet blogger Garett Rogers’ ‘Googling Google’ post about the protest image made available to Google Maps searchers.

A reviewer on Yelp’s website managed to have her image of the Windows logo with a red circle and slash over it show up in the little popup for Microsoft’s Bellevue, Washington address. Rogers explained how this could happen:

How is this possible? Well, "Sara B" decided to upload an anti-Windows image along with her review of the company — it so happens she reviewed the #1 ranking result on Google Maps for the term "Microsoft". This is a problem because images from Yelp appear in the organic search results on Google Maps.

While it is only a mildly embarrassing prank, it does have implications beyond adding to the nigh-infinite number of jabs Microsoft has taken over the years.

If people can upload images to the info bubble for Microsoft on Google Maps, it seems likely it could be done for other companies.

As with all the other details of one’s online presence, our readers will want to keep an eye on their Google Maps information.

Additional information can be found at Google’s Local Business Center, and dropping in at Yelp to check for listings there about one’s business would be a good idea too.