Google on Defusing Googlebombs

    January 26, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google only needs to run its "Googlebomb" algorithm once in a while. And just recently, one of these times emerged. You may have read about it. Obama was ranking for "failure".

He doesn’t rank for failure anymore, and that’s because Google ran the algorithm. Matt Cutts was kind enough to explain Google’s process for this type of thing:

The short answer is that we do two different things — both of them algorithmic — to handle Googlebombs: detect Googlebombs and then mitigate their impact. The second algorithm (mitigating the impact of Googlebombs) is always running in our productionized systems. The first algorithm (detecting Googlebombs) has to process our entire web index, so in most typical cases we tend not to run that algorithm every single time we crawl new web data. I think that during 2008 we re-ran the Googlebomb detection algorithm 5-6 times, for example. You can think of it like this:

Googlebomb or linkbomb pipeline

Cutts also made a brief post on Google’s Public Policy Blog, explaining the situation. Now that the information is out about how Google handles these things, one of two things could happen. Either people will stop trying it because they know it’s pointless because Google can just run its algorithm and stop it, or they will do it more just to annoy Google and make them run the algorithm all the time.

Meanwhile, Yahoo remains bombed. I have yet to see any explanations from them on the matter. If they have a similar algorithm, apparently they have yet to run it.