Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bombs Away

MediaPost, my favorite industry newsletter, has an interesting article today highlighting democratic bloggers' strategy for the upcoming elections. It involves a Google Bomb. Details below:


A GOOGLE SEARCH ON THE name "George Allen"--a Republican U.S. Senator from Virginia running to retain his seat--now returns his official Senate page as the top organic result. But if some bloggers have their way, the top result will instead be "New 'N Word' Woe For George Allen," a CBS News article from September, highlighting the Senator's alleged use of a racial slur.
A coalition of Democratic-leaning bloggers are planning an en masse search engine optimization campaign, in the form of "Google bombs," in hopes of highlighting negative stories about GOP candidates. The bloggers plan to manipulate the search engine's results via blog posts that link the candidates' names to unflattering articles.

Past political Google bombs have included linking the biography pages for President George W. Bush and former President Jimmy Carter to the phrase "miserable failure," and the John Kerry senatorial Web site to the word "Waffles" during the 2004 Presidential campaigns.

But, although "bombing" has worked in the past, Google says it has recently tweaked its algorithms to prevent people from bombing. "We make changes to the algorithms to make the searches better," a spokesman said. "Invariably, this does take care of some of these attempts at Google bombing which are not true organic results."

This election cycle's Google bombing is being masterminded by Chris Bowers, author of the popular liberal blog MyDD.com. On Tuesday, Bowers posted the code for 52 links to news articles and Wikipedia entries detailing scandals that Republican candidates and incumbents for the Senate and House have been involved in. Bowers on Tuesday asked that blog authors post the links in their own blogs with the candidate's name as the link text--thus creating inbound links on those articles, and driving up the page rank for those pages and raising them in Google's natural search results.

Read the rest here.

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