Will Googlebomb Algo Affect SEO Contests?

    January 26, 2007

There’s news going around that Google has or introduced a new algorithm designed to eliminate Googlebombs (or linkbombs as they should be called).

In case you are not familiar, a linkbomb is an attempt to influence search rankings by pointing a contextual phrase – like “miserable failure” – to a site you want associated with that phrase. The goal is to get enough links using the chosen contextual phrase pointing to the targeted destination site. The more of these links you have, the higher the probability search results would adjust their results accordingly.

The most popular of these linkbombs was probably the “miserable failure” campaign, which resulted in current US President George Bush’s biography page receiving the top search result for the phrase in question. With the introduction of Google’s new anti-linkbomb algorithm, results for the “Google+Search”>miserable failure” query have changed: a BBC article discussing the original “miserable failure” linkbomb is now the first position result.

Furthermore, President Bush II’s biography page is no longer on the first page results.

The question I’ve been asking is, “will Google’s new anti-linkbomb algorithm affect current and future SEO competitions?” The reason I ask is because most SEO competitions ask the contestants to rank highly for a chosen phrase and the most effective to do so is with contextual backlinks. For instance, if you want a site to rank highly for the phrase “awesome site,” you point as many links containing the phrase to the site as possible.

Now because of the new Google algorithm designed to combat linkbombs, there are a couple of SEO contests that may have a difficult time achieving the desired results:

First, Threadwatch is having a competition to see who can get the first position for the phrase “Dave Pasternack”. The webmaster doing so by noon on March 1st will win $1000. Will the new Google algo allow Threadwatch’s competition to reach its full potential or will it render these efforts as wasted? If Google “ignores” linkbomb campaigns, winning an SEO contest is even harder.

Another competition that may be affected by Google’s decision is the 2007 SEO World Championship – who is essentially having the same type of contest as Threadwatch. The keyword phrase to rank for is “GlobalWarming Awareness2007”. However, because the competition includes Yahoo and MSN as well (not just Google), participants may still be able to employ their linkbombs… just don’t expect big changes in Google’s SERPs.