Guardian Plays Google Game, And Wins

    December 21, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

It took a week for a writer to push a spoof web site to the very top of the Google rankings for the search term “eco-friendly flip-flops.”

An article appearing in the Guardian Unlimited described how its technology correspondent managed to accomplish what numerous site owners and SEOs attempt every day: getting to the top of Google’s rankings.

Writer Bobbie Johnson created for his test. The site content described in the article has since been removed from the test website. Two days after creating the site, Johnson found it placed very low in Google’s rankings.

Adding keywords and cloaking other terms didn’t budge the site out of its spot, Johnson noted. Then he turned to an old black hat trick, creating a second site with lots of links to the first site. Google’s PageRank algorithm took this in and Johnson’s page moved to the top of Google search for his term.

That movement took place within hours of the creation of the inbound links. Even though it was a small test, Johnson contended it has much higher implications:

Almost a fifth of all purchases made on the web are the direct result of an internet search, according to data monitor Hitwise – and more than half of those come straight from Google. This places an astonishing level of commercial power in the hands of one company. Google says it takes this very seriously, but it is an almost impossible task given the amount of information concerned.

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