Sign up for our daily recaps of the ever-changing search marketing landscape.
Bush – Tops For “Who Is A Failure” On Google
For years, US President George W. Bush was tops on Google for
searches on miserable
failure until last
year’s Googlebomb "fix" solved his problem on Google. But Bush is back,
spotting that Bush’s official White House page is ranking tops for
who is a failure
A new Googlebomb? If so, I’ve not seen any reports of people pushing to make
this happen. My bet is that all those links out there with
anchor text saying
"failure" in them are making him come up for a variety of terms combined with
"failure." And in fact, he looks to have been ranking this way
time. (Note: initially I myself thought this was new, then a few minutes
after posting, I tried a new search on Google that found evidence of it being
long-standing, so I quickly adjusted this write-up).
Michael Gray noted something similar
to me last month when we
were talking about the
anniversary of the
Googlebomb fix on the Daily SearchCast.
Stephen Colbert might have had his
greatest living american
but switch the words around —
american greatest — and you get him.
Similarly, Bush currently ranks for a variety of queries that use words on his
page along with "failure," which does not appear:
Going back to the "who is a failure" search, one weird thing about it is the
description that comes up for Bush’s page:
Article from Encarta Encyclopedia provides an overview of Bush’s life.
That description is not actually on Bush’s page. Instead, the page has a meta
description tag saying:
The Oval Office contains speeches and statements of President Bush, a
description of policy priorities, biographies, and photo essays.
For some reason, Google decided to ignore the meta description tag and
instead go with the description of the page from the Open Directory Project as
more relevant. Bad choice.
You’ll find the page listed at the ODP
here. That listing incorrectly identifies Bush’s page as being an article
from Encarta. The White House might want to consider using the
NOODP meta tag to
prevent this from happening.
You might recall the effectiveness of Google’s link bomb fix was questioned
at the end of January, when the Church Of Scientology started ranking for
dangerous cult. See
Bombed Or Not? for more background about that. In the comments to that
story, you can see that it was indeed something that happened through a recent,
The page no longer ranks — though the word "dangerous" still exists on it —
so some may believe that Google simply finally made a manual addition to the
list of Googlebomb "fixes" that they believe it keeps.
For its part, Google repeatedly and consistently says that Googlebombs are
defused on an entirely automated basis. When I asked them about the Scientology
case and why it seemed to get through at the time, Google emailed back:
Nearly a year ago, we developed an algorithm that minimizes the impact of
many link bombs, or Googlebombs. It is important to note, however, that some
of the detection components of this algorithm don’t run every day because
Googlebombs are relatively rare.
Again, this is what Google has said before — that every so often, they run
this clean-up process to find link bomb out there. But in the case of Bush, it
would be odd for "who is a failure" to get defused, since no one appears to have
created a pattern of linkage to make that happen in the first place — and it’s
already been out there for so long.
For more background on Bush and Googlebombs, see these past stories:
- Google Kills
Bush’s Miserable Failure Search & Other Google Bombs
- George W. Bush: A
Failure Once Again, According To Google
- Happy First
Birthday, Google Bomb Fix!
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.