Algorithm to reduce Googlebomb impact

There’s a post up on the Google webmaster blog that discusses a change to reduce the impact of Googlebombs. If you’ve never heard of a “Googlebomb,” Danny gives some in-depth Googlebomb background and context over at Search Engine Land.

Special thanks to Ryan and Kendra for putting in a little 20% time on Googlebombs. :)

176 Responses to Algorithm to reduce Googlebomb impact (Leave a comment)

  1. That explains some search results I have been seeing recently. I approve of this momentum. Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks, Michael. One of the best parts of Google is getting to work with smart people. :)

  3. David

    Great keep up the good work, that is one down and several more to go such as crazy serp results such as showing parts of other sites as subsections on a diferent site.

  4. David, you’re talking about site:www.domain.com returning other subdomains like foo.domain.com? That was something that we were trying out (treating site:www.domain.com like site:domain.com, because so few people see the difference between the two behaviors). But enough power users want their site: to be very strict that we’re probably going to change it back. I think Vanessa mentioned that we’ll return to the original behavior to Barry Schwartz. I can’t find the thread over at Search Engine Roundtable right now though.

  5. David

    No Matt that wasn’t what I was talking about.

    2 totally unrelated sites getitng mixed up.

    I posted a Google search to your blog yesterday and a link to a thread on WMW.

    For some reason it got zapped.

    I normally wouldn’t care but it sure looks like a real bug.

    http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3229251.htm

    Is the thread on WMW and

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=botcw&btnG=Google+Search

    is one of the searches that show the effect.

    Now the UBC link is doing a meta refresh and the other site is currently doing a 301 to his new domain.

  6. Won’t There will be false positives affecting the low to medium Trustranked- BackLinks of Websites –

    this new Algo was obvious to those who heavily scruntize Google – it is bringing mixed results and affecting lower pageranked sites :-(

  7. Showing up in Google search with the correct message can also help out those who are unfairly hit with lame Googlebombs.

    My little test proved to me that Google had done something about this threat to democracy. Thanks! ;)

  8. I have only one thing to say about this…. what took you so LONG!

    oh… and, job well done. But that makes two things. ;)

  9. Peter Davis, there’s so many other things that impact users much more; I think that’s the main reason. But I’m glad that Google did get around to it. :)

  10. Awesome you guys fixed the miserable failure mistake for our commander in cheif

  11. Care to comment Matt on the mythical (?) Google Bowling (did/does it even exist) and will this change will have any effect on that?!?

    I’m sure you guys already look for unnatural linking patterns (i.e. if X links to a page and a high percentage use exact same link text, then look a bit closer), so one conjecture would be that you are fiddling with this algorithm – can you provide more details w/o giving away the secret sauce?

    P.S. In some respects, I’m almost sad to see this change since some of the GoogleBombs were pretty darn funny. As you know, the classic one is “Miserable Failure” showing George Bush at #1 … and then later on, Michael Moore was at #2 – I see you have fixed that. I’m not into politics, but some good comedy watching the zealots battle it out in the Search Engines! ;-)

  12. MaxD

    Are you saying anchor text does not work anymore? Sorry but it sounds like rubbish to me. If you go on that premise the whole google index would have been shaken up. More likely a hand job.

  13. I agree with Alek, I’m sad to see this one go. It was fun to see little jokes in the SERPs occasionally.

  14. Are these bombs killed localy? We have some of our own down here, in Lithuania. Though we rather call them captures, not bombs. Some guys i know tried to capture word “beer” (LTU – alus). The best they could do was 4th position in search.

    Oh, and there is one nasty about some very annoying journalist. If searched by surname, first displayed result is Lithuanian article about hens in wikipedia .)

  15. I think this has reduced the quality of the index. When I search for “miserable failure”, I no longer get the canonical example.

  16. Hey why don’t we test the new algorithm out?
    Eveyone link to my site with the phrase
    “fluffy green mosquito”
    :)

  17. It’s a shame that Google now supports Bush!

  18. JLH

    1) Wow, very impressive! Even the often quoted “computer” query doesn’t turn up the same ole results, and searching for my name doesn’t pull up one of my sites that doesn’t have my full name on it anywhere, somehow I accidentally bombed myself on that one.

    B) Noticed another PR data push yesterday as well.

    iii) Now let’s put all this NOFOLLOW nonsense to bed as I feel the end of the internet is only a week away, judging by the forums and public discussion lately! It wouldn’t be such a big deal if wiki didn’t show up for #1 with an indented #2 for just about any query on google

  19. Besides “miserable failure” and “weapons of mass destruction” there has been another widely-discussed google-bomb – “jew”. As the #1 result used to be quite anti-semitic site (now it is #3), community “bombed” the word to put Wikipedia article in front (and google used to put an explanation back then).

    Fighting evil bombs – ok. Fighting joke bombs – ummm, maybe. Fighting against community defense – that may look fishy. Of course, fairness is also good, but in this case, it used to be a bit of self-regulating environment.

    Google just “picks algorithms” and does not feel responsible for ethics of result positioning.

    It would be interesting to see, what keywords/sites are detected as bombs to see the analysis, but I guess thats what internal Google folks will do. Of course, “jew” bomb is still #1, but what happens once it is detected as a bomb. Because, well… it is.

  20. Dyce

    I have to agree with Andrew and Alek, it was just a bit of fun… but I understand where Google are coming from, especially if people were beginning to think the bomb was their opinion.
    However would have expected the search results to have been more shaken up by this too…

  21. I’m sorry to see the Googlebomb™ go, its demise makes Google a little bit less fun…
    (It’s a good thing I’m not an American, or I’d complain that my first amendment rights had been violated. ;-) )

  22. Hi Matt,

    Have you had any reports of false positives? How accurate is the algo?

    Thanks

    Allan

  23. So a link is a vote… unless there are too many votes.
    There has to be some collateral damage.

    I was looking at the latest backlinks for my site, and found one from a forum thread, about 2 weeks old, listed. The thing is that my sig does not link to my site… and hasn’t for months. Nothing in the thread does. My user profile, linked from that thread, does have a link to the site…
    Hmmm…. where have I seen that behavior before?

  24. Hi Matt

    Whats this??

    http://www.sirlinksalot.net/

    Isnt that over 100 links on a page??

    Whats with the PR??

    Where’s the content?? (AKA Wendys Wheres the beef?? 1980s)

    Clint

  25. German

    Thank you Matt (and Google!)

    My profile on the Internet doesn’t show under my school name!

    How fun!

    Now I like it!

  26. Are SEO contests considered Googlebombs?

    If so you might want to tweak your algorithm a little more, see result #9 for globalwarming awareness2007.

    “Global warming” is fine (two words).

    But Globalwarming (one word) shows a Google bomber.

    Sorry to ruin all the fun, just lookin’ out for you! :)

  27. I’m wondering if the new anti-Google bomb algo is causing collateral damage and sending high quality sites to the back of the search results – what some are calling the 950 penalty?

    If a site has suddenly been sent to the back of the results (950ish), does this mean that Google sees that sight as a Google bomber?

    Is there another reason to demote a site to 950+ that I am missing? With a loss of 80% of our Google traffic, we are at a loss for what to do. We have worked hard to create an extensive and comprehensive site built for users.

    On a funny side note, I got an e-mail this morning from Adsense support saying that my “high quality site” was eligible for some new type of ad program.

    Thanks Matt.

  28. Thanks Matt! I’ve never considered myself a miserable failure, so I’m glad to see that Google agrees.

  29. One of the less political examples that I like to use is Adobe Acrobat for click here.

    This wasn’t done maliciously, but there is overwhelming anchor text to the point that Google is providing site links for the #1 position.

  30. Ian

    But enough power users want their site: to be very strict that we’re probably going to change it back

    Oh yes please, pretty please, do change it back!

  31. Clint Dixon, I get traffic from sirlinksalot, so I hope that Google doesn’t do anything to hurt a useful site like that. I have no connection to them other than they link to me.

  32. FYI FWIW Matt: Just noticed that that the “Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO” link at the top of your blog points to the non-trailing-slash URL. No big deal as the web server does the 301 redirect to the correct one, but if you are interested in minor nits, it’s a quick fix.

  33. I have to go against the grain here and say how disappointed I am. Now what am I supposed to do for a hobby?

    I believe this is just a way for Google to try and manipulate my life and make me actually go outside ;)

  34. Is it true that Google is eliminating some results manually?

  35. Out…side? Your words are foreign to me, Jeremy Luebke.

    Question: why not leave the more famous Googlebombs in there? By removing them and then talking about removing them, doesn’t that give away a tiny bit of the “secret sauce”?

  36. Matt, David,

    The Search Engine Roundtable post about the site: command is here:
    http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/007250.html

  37. Sam

    Does this mean then that Bush is going to lose his ‘miserable failure’ claim to fame at google?

  38. lots0

    *Unintended Consequences*

  39. alek, this change only targets Googlebombs, not anything else. MaxD, I’m not saying that all anchortext weighting has been changed, only Googlebombs. HitProf gave a good example in the comments on Danny’s post. She said that a Dutch Googlebomb for [raar kapsel] has been counteracted, for example.

    Andrew Hitchcock, it may have been a funny joke in your view, but we continued to get lots of emails thinking that Google was behind these. That was reason enough to take a fresh look at these in my book.

    Domas Mituzas, technically that example is not a Googlebomb, because the site in question *wants* to show up for the query. A Googlebomb happens when someone pushes *someone else’s* site up for a query. Another example is [french military victories]. That’s not a Googlebomb, because the #1 site wants to rank at #1. That’s just straight-out SEO. This change only targets Googlebombs.

    Dyce, overall the algorithm did have a very limited scope — only Googlebombs. Allan Stewart, I’ve yet to hear any reports of false positives, but people can leave feedback in the standard places and we’ll be happy to get it.

    William, I’m about to step into an all-day meeting, but I’ll ask someone to look into it when I can.

    Ian, I think it will change back to the previous site: behavior eventually (it depends on a binary push of the scoring executable, I believe, so I’m not sure how long that will take).

    alek, I’ve been meaning to look at that for a while; there’s just always more to do. :)

    Jeremy Luebke, fresh air is good for you. :)

    Vanessa, thanks for the pointer to the SE Roundtable post.

  40. By the way, I’m about to step into an all-day meeting, so I’ll catch up with comments at the end of the day.

  41. Ahhhhh … so my guess at the algorithm tweaks would be if the target URL has tons of off-pageoptimization for a certain keyphrase, but very little (or no) on-page optimization for that same phrase, then it might fit the signature of a GoogleBomb and lets look a bit closer at it.

    On a semi-related note (and perhaps a corner case for ‘ya), how would you handle the case of when the target URL is not spiderable (via robots.txt, etc), but you have information from off-page anchor text linkage to rank it appropriately for certain keyphrases?

  42. David

    Vanessa,

    If I’m the David you referenced, the site: command post is interesting in some ways.

    However, my query isn’t about the site command at all.

    It is about a regular old bog standard google search and the very first result returned.

    To put it bluntly, the result looks like something produced by a programming 101 student learning about control level breaks, first time switches, and accounting reports.

    Matt,

    Better you than me on the all dayer, hate meetings, long ones should be outlawed.

    Good luck and don’t fall asleep ;-).

  43. So these are for known / popular bombs? ie; “miserable failure”, “jew”, “complete idiot” etc?

  44. Taking all the fun out of the world :(

  45. The “banana republic” google bomb was political comment, and the only one I ever took part in.

    Seems Google have “censored” legitimate (if unusual) political protest against the Council of the European Union.

    Are you guys sure this is an improvement? As you say it was only a few cases. Did European governments influence this decision is what the paranoid folk will want to know. Who really had this idea first?

  46. >HitProf gave a good example in the comments on Danny’s post. He said

    Hey hey, She said… :)

    Astrid

  47. Not so sure I like the idea of filtering bombs. It could affect -real- listings that get quote bombed unquote.

    I don’t see a problem with bombing.

  48. OK, so if I understand all this well, that is why my non-profit website, a city portal representing the 120.000 or more inhabitants city I live in, dropped PR from 5 to 0 yesterday and being the no1 result for over one year for the word Suceava, now is not indexed in any results coming in english, just because all backlinks it is getting relate to the name of the city?

    I guess not, there must be something else :)

  49. Vijay Jones

    Good news, but Google is still susceptible to counter spam. People give away free website counters to webmasters of small sites. These counters contain a link back to the target site they are trying to promote in Google. The link text corresponds to the keywords they want to place highly for. The clever ones vary their link text so it is not all the same on every counter.

    Result: many, many links from irrelevant websites whose webmasters probably don’t even know they are in a spam campaign.

    Ask.com is not so susceptible to this type of spam because they consider the type of site the link originates from.

  50. Matt,

    ref, your response to Domas Mituzas:

    But how does Google know the site “wants” to be ranked for that without calling the webmaster or something? I think the point of it is that anyone could have googlebombed that site and made it rank for that term seo champinoship term.

    So doesn’t that in effect prove the googlebomb fix doesn’t work?

  51. Matt,
    This isn’t really a “Google Bomb” really… more like a Matt Cutts bomb.

    http://www.seorefugee.com/seoblog/2007/01/26/googles-matt-cutts-web-dominatrix/

    Hehe what do you think? ;)

  52. Sad to see this new algo come in tbh, and for many reasons. Not least that I think my SERPs have been adversly affected.

    I take part in forums with other webmasters. I have links to some of my sites in my forum siggy. This has what I thought was contextual anchour text.

    Now, with this new algo inclusion, is Google seeing all these links with the same text as an attempt to Google-bomb my site/s? I mean there is literally hundreds of these links.

    I have slipped from 1st and 3rd for my business name (google.co.uk, UK search) down to 750 in the space of 7 days.

    I don’t (intentionally) go even as far as grey-hat, everything is done quite naturally. I write for the user not the SEs. I dont link to bad neighbourhoods, all my inbound links are placed by members (except my forum siggys).

    I enjoyed my 1st and 3rd for months and so did very little to change things, just kept updating my site.

    I’m alittle depressed by this Matt and it’s keeping me awake at night. As I said, i don’t think ive done a thing out of place, but if you can tell me differently, then please do, so I can put it right.

    Cheers
    Andy

  53. Harith

    Andy Hall

    “Sad to see this new algo come in tbh, and for many reasons. Not least that I think my SERPs have been adversly affected.”

    I really don’t think that the anti-Googlebomb algos have any general effect on rankings on the serps.

    However for the last half a year or so there have been some continuous Data Refreshes/Data Pushes (taking place on Google new infrastructure) which have affected rankings of several sites both in negative and posative ways.

  54. Matt, If this really was achieved with an algorithm change why does an adobe.com page which doesn’t contain the term “click here” show up first for a search for “click here”? How did this search escape the algorithm?

    I am only asking because a few people have suggested that the changes were done by hand to the 100 or so well known googlebombs.

  55. I’m sorry Matt, this has nothing to do with this topic, but I am not sure where to turn. I need your expert advice, you don’t need to post this if you don’t want to.

    WebmasterWorld couldn’t help me, and I tried looking in some other places. Alas, many people with the same issue, but no resolution. It has to do with AdWords and Yahoo SERPs.

    It seems as if Yahoo has been taking links from Google advertising because we have some pages showing up with source code (for HitsLink tracking) in natural results. For example: http://www.widgets.com/index.htm?source=mygooglead

    I don’t know how to get these removed and banned. I can’t add a no follow to Google ads, but this is throwing off my site stats. Google has this great “remove this link” tool for webmasters, but alas yahoo isn’t as webmaster saavy just yet.

    Any idea who at Yahoo would care? They don’t seem to be paying attention, and I can’t figure out how to tell someone.

    I know you are a very busy man, and this is not even your deal, but if you could forward this to someone, I would be forever grateful. Maybe mention it the next time you’re in a carpool from the dealership with other Silicon Valley peeps. :)

  56. Like Jeremy Swiller, I noticed the Click Here search still points to Adobe Reader. The Click Here to Exit search gives Disney, Yahoo, and Disney World heavy link-love from all kinds of adult sites. I was surprised to see that the ranking for those two phrases hasn’t seemed to change at all with the algo tweak.

  57. I’m happy that it is being fixed…I did enjoy miserable failure and liar while it lasted :-)

  58. KateMorris:

    Did you try this in your robots.txt file?

    User-Agent: *
    Disallow: /*source=

  59. George

    well, like some of you I think this is a manual tweak and only affects a few so called bombs. I think this has more to do with a real algo change for the fight against link spamming and it is not only a change but a huge change that they don’t want to talk about.
    Adobe is not affecte by this googleboms algo change since if their millings of “backlinks” would be removed then they too would be penalized like many other sites lately.
    Matt, I don’t think David was talking abot www and non-www things here” showing parts of other sites as subsections on a diferent site”
    He was probably talking about the subdomains Google listed under cob-web.org that you were going to check out but nobody ever heard anything back. Maybe it wasn’t a problem but if it wasn’t, how come we only see 2 results now with a site: command? You can still find MORE pages indexed if you search for “cob-web.org” than before.
    Here’s one example: http://www.google.com.cob-web.org:8888
    How’s that being a subdomain to another site?
    How many email did you get about Googlebombing? More than from people begging you for their life to get their sites back into the index, people who haven’t done anything wrong intentionally but still get penalized by every change you make.
    Where have I heard this before: “It wasn’t me, it was the computer that did it!”

  60. Will google penalise sites using google bombs more stringently with this update? Since it does not seem to have any effect on
    googlebombproject.blogspot.com

    And take a look at the new results for ‘miserable failure’, it has got sites which have got images of bush.In fact only the 10th result seems to be really relevant.So whats next, making it bad practice to use the words bush and miserbale failure on the same page??

  61. Finally Google fixed this issue. Good Job Google!

  62. I’ve noticed (simply noticed) it’s been harder for people to googlebomb as time goes by… this should surely lesson the impact!

  63. I’m curious whether I was a victim of your algorithm change. My site used to get over 50% of it’s traffic from Google and since this, I’m off the engine practically. The only thing I can think of was that, along with about 50 other bloggers, we were widely promoted as the “Z-list” and the “Z-list” was repeated on about a hundred sites.

    Ugh. From a Pagerank of 5 to 0 overnight… and I didn’t do anything wrong.

  64. That’s good to know… but I am a bit torn. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I think these kind of things are actually good. I mean people will always prank and find a way to prank, and most of these instances that I’ve seen of Googlebombing, I think people need to get a sense of humor, including some presidents (I will not name names, of course). I’m sure that in some sense of abuse, it is good that this thing not go unchecked. However, I hate to see one of the last forms of “free” speech become a bit more sterile. Isn’t it American to sign the declaration of independence in extremely large letters to add insult to the King? Didn’t we toss a boat full of tea back into a harbor a while back? Just seems that good ol’ hooliganism and shenanigans to get a point across or to chide people to let you know what they think is a very American tradition and despite what good it may do to sterilize the net of abuse, a part of me is sad… :)
    And you know… some big fella once said “there is no such thing as BAD publicity…” of course, I don’t think he was a politician.
    So there ya go, thanks Matt and Google, for making us all a bit less evil…

  65. i think this new algo has affected me, eventhough i have not done anything in regards to googlebombing, my site had 90% traffic from google and was practically loved by google search engine, but now the site is not in any serps not even the word “fonebiz” which is the site name. Very confusing. Hope it returns soon.

    Apart from that i praise this new algo to get rid of those wrong results also there are alot of spam results currently using google groups and doc.google and stuff seems to be in big markets “ringtone” is one of them ive reported quite a few via the spam form already to google.

  66. Maybe I am confused, is googlebombing just anchor text?

  67. hmm link patern analysis…. I wonder what these guys (and gals) work on in their 80% work time.

  68. Jeff White

    Matt, David is referring to my site which has been replaced in the search engine by a TOTALLY unrelated site, yet my site still appears as sub listings under that site. You can see a better example of this by seaerching for ChristianWebsite.com, my main domain – http://www.google.com/search?q=christianwebsite.com&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    I have been ranked #1 for the search terms ‘Christian web’ & ‘Christian Website’ for a very long time. As of Tuesday my listing was replaced with the following:

    Relocate
    Sorry, your browser does not support Java Script.
    web.ubc.ca/ – 1k – Cached – Similar pages

    If you search for botcw (my old domain which is 301 redirected to my current one) or christianwebsite.com (my current domain) It will bring up the same ‘Relocate’ listing pointing to the Canadian site but it will have sub listings to my site under it but with the old botcw domain.

    Obviously something very strange. I don’t know if it is a Google bug or a hijack.

    Jeff

  69. Doug Karr
    Welcome to the “stiffed by the G-bomb algo club”
    Meetings held here daily.
    Membership total: 2
    Aims: to try and get a few answers so we know if we are just being paranoid or not.
    Anyone else wanna join?
    Guest speakers welcome!

  70. Regarding the “miserable failure” GoogleBomb — In 5 or 10 years, Google can always re-instate the link…

  71. I guess I am going to have to find a new funny “anchor text” example from now on! Good to see Google cracking down on this.

  72. Richard Jennings

    Matt – When a new news aggragation site like: http://news.congoo.com launches, does google actually index those links? Isnt that like aggrgating the aggragator? I only ask because we want to launch a specific type of news site that only features specific blog headlines.

    Just curious if googleot knows the difference in original source links and aggrgation links??

    Richard -

  73. This is how I would distinguish a googlebomb:
    Those link anchors keywords that are not mentiioned even once on a whole site (meaning the author doesn’t want a google position on these) come from a bomb. For example, the famous Bush page never had the words miserable failure anywhere.Now add some tolerance there and you have a nice googlebomb detection. However, false positives are quite possible. For example, links from sites in another language (with different anchors and keywords and everything) are not a bomb or spam.
    Just guessing…

  74. Matt, good to hear that something is being done about this.

    But how come Bush’s BIO comes up #1 for ‘great president’ now — what’s up with flip from failure to great?

    Regards,
    Richard.

  75. An update: While looking at google.pl and some political googlebomb pranks I see that some of them dissapeared and some of them are still there and the same. Those pranks are very similiar and it might be interesting to know how algorithm distinguishes them. The pranks on politicians I’ve checked on google.pl are (the keywords):

    kretyn (the most famous one – dissapeared)
    pedał (still there)

  76. Looks like the algorithm took the wind out of the sail of the last Globalwarming bomber who resided in position #9 for “globalwarming”.

    Booyah!

  77. Jacques

    Hi!

    “Googlebombs” a “new” Google word.. Here, there was another big Google update, because many authority websites without “Googlebombs text link” ranking top ten for several years were affected.

    Many webmasters are asking every time in different forums and on this blog, what happen, and what? nothing

    Yup Yup, Google is for smart people yup yup :)

    Best regards,
    Jacques

  78. alek, if a page is not spiderable, we can still see enough trustworthy links to return it in search results. For a long time, for example, Nissan didn’t allow any engines to crawl it, but we could still return it as a result for the query [nissan].

    David, I’ll ask someone about why that’s happening.

    MaxFax, there are still plenty of other ways that people can have fun on the web (e.g. making up joke MySpace pages for famous people). But I think it was a good idea to take action on these pranks.

    “Did European governments influence this decision is what the paranoid folk will want to know. Who really had this idea first?” Simon, I’ll nip that notion in the bud. The idea and push to implement this new algorithm came entirely from within Google.

    HitProf, doh! Complete brain-freeze on my part, and I apologize; I corrected it. We talked in London a few years ago about speculation on the sandbox, right?

    picsel, this change definitely wouldn’t have impacted the ranking of your site, so it would have to be something else.

    GeorgeB, I think this algorithm does successfully minimize the impact of Googlebombs as we define them here at Google. Many of the sites that probably wouldn’t want to rank for these Googlebombs no longer do.

    Skitzzo, I appreciate the sentiment but it doesn’t really match my typical look. :)

    Andy Hall, this change isn’t affecting your site, so I’d look for other reasons. For example, the scope of your site changes a lot (car insurance + secured loans + broadband internet?), but why would someone click on your pages vs. just using someone else’s version of the OMGUK tool? And when I clicked on the broadband link, I didn’t get any offers at all, just an empty table no matter what criteria I tried to use. If I click to a page titled “Broadband internet providers price comparison Compare Prices on providers of broadband internet” then it’s pretty disappointing if there’s just an empty page with no actual data. :( So I’d take a fresh look at your site for issues like that.

    Pro-SEO, at Google we look at Googlebombs as attempts to push other people’s sites up and rank for things that they wouldn’t want to rank for. “click here” is sort of a borderline case, so it’s possible that the algorithm could trigger on it in the future, but presumably Adobe doesn’t mind showing up. But no, we definitely didn’t make a bunch of changes by hand. I had never heard of Hitprof’s [raar kapsel] case, for example, but the algorithm did the intended thing for that result.

    Kate Morris, I might be able to contact someone at Yahoo. Mind if I give them your email address? I’m also asking some Google ads people about this to see if they can 1) make sure that common bots are disregarded so that you aren’t charged and 2) make sure that ad clicks go through a redirect which is forbidden by robots.txt. #2 would keep bots from crawling ad links, and #1 would keep people from being charged if a common bot somehow still managed to find that link. I’ll let you know if I find out anything. Multi-Worded Adam makes a great point that if your ad landing pages are all tagged with “?source=” or if the landing pages are all in one directory then you could do a robots.txt to prevent them from crawling, which would keep bots from messing up your conversion metrics.

    George, sorry to disagree on two points, but this is not a manual change, and the scope of this change is very limited. Most websites are completely unaffected by this new algorithm. Okay, I’ll disagree on one more thing, because I did look into cob-web.org personally. :) If you’ll notice, [site:cob-web.org] no longer returns any mirror/proxy/dupe results in Google any more. You mentioned the search [cob-web.org]. That does a search for the phrase “cob-web.org” so it’s natural to return web results that mention that site, but you’ll notice that no mirror/proxy/dupe results from cob-web.org show up for that more general query. In fact, if you click pretty deeply, there’s now only ~75 results listed at all, and they’re all actual web pages that mention “cob-web.org” on them. So I did look into that situation for you after you commented on it, and I think we do much better on it now. :)

    Coop search, no, this change doesn’t affect sites that are encouraging Googlebombs, it just minimizes their impact. For the search you mentioned, the results discuss the topic from several different perspectives, so I think users are getting relevant results.

    Doug Karr, I don’t think this algorithm would have any impact for your site.

    Thanks for the patience on circling back to handle comments, everyone. All-day meetings are often really helpful, but they can really put you behind, too. :)

  79. Hi!

    I have been at google webmaster groups and found that many people are facing a similar issue to mine and i feel its to do with this new “googlebombing” algo…

    http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Webmaster_Help-Indexing/browse_thread/thread/51cced98f3e1ad59

    issues are at the above urls to do with suddern drop in SE results.

    Also Mr Cutts please pass message onto the “G-mail team” that it says “2006 Google” in footer of “Gmail” website. :)

    Best Regards,
    Tosif Patel

  80. George

    Matt,
    I am glad you could proof me wrong :) Looks like you got rid of the problem(?) with cob web now!
    Maybe the change, even if it was not “manual”, will affect more sites since having Googlebombs removed might push some site up on the list. My site usually disappear ever time there is a change so I am in about two months and then I am trown out again in the cold for another 2 months and it did disappear (not de-indexed) January 15th, like a clickwork.This new change that is going I can see the site gaining a little bit but not much. Went from 20,000 visitors a day to 500 overnight so it kinda’ hurts.
    Got an email from your co-worker over at AdSense though… Almost p*d in my pants over that since you never get any emails from google. I was invited to some Advertiser Pack so someone in the Plex likes the site…. Maybe they didn’t know that the Search guys just ruined the hits?
    Oh well. Glad I was wrong about the cob-web and the manual removal and the effect it has on other sites anyway!

  81. Hi Matt,

    I notice some bombs still seem to be in the top 10 rankings (jew, internet rockstar). Yet Bush is nowhere in sight. Is this new algorithm going to get those as well, or is it completed?

    I am curious to know if there is also a correlation with this update and the Google 950 penalty being discussed on WMW for the past few weeks?

    Thanks & Best!
    -Alan

  82. Alek:Ahhhhh … so my guess at the algorithm tweaks would be if the target URL has tons of off-page optimization for a certain keyphrase, but very little (or no) on-page optimization for that same phrase, then it might fit the signature of a GoogleBomb and lets look a bit closer at it. On a semi-related note (and perhaps a corner case for ‘ya), how would you handle the case of when the target URL is not spiderable (via robots.txt, etc), but you have information from off-page anchor text linkage to rank it appropriately for certain keyphrases?

    Matt:alek, if a page is not spiderable, we can still see enough trustworthy links to return it in search results. For a long time, for example, Nissan didn’t allow any engines to crawl it, but we could still return it as a result for the query [nissan].

    Yes, I know you have been returning results for pages that aren’t spiderable – my specific comment was that assuming you are looking at on-page factors as input for the new anti-Googlebomb trigger, how would it handle the case where don’t have that data due to robots.txt, etc.?

    I.e. you are probably obtaining some sort of weighting factor based on on-page for the keyphrase. The closer to zero, then the less that page “wants” to be ranked for the keyphrase. But if that page is not spiderable, then it ranks “zero” for all keyphrases using on-page factors only.

    A specific example may help – if GWB’s “miserable failure” page used robots.txt to block Googlebot, would it be more/less likey to be GoogleBombed with the new algorithm?

    Again, this is a miniscule corner case/academic question … but a simple test would be to run your secret sauce algorithm changing the input of on-page content to NULL (or whatever you use when a page is not spiderable) and see what the results are.

  83. Remo

    If it was all about focussing on anchor text in relation to G bombs, everyone who has a popular blog would be affected as they would be on so many blog rolls,

    G Serps have been weird for a while, de-indexing, reindexing pages, changes in displaying links etc… Whatever is said with my “paranoia hat” on
    still lots of changes seeping through

    So if the purpose of dealing with “Miserable Failure” was a sweep across the board with “anchor text” 000′s of innocents would be affected

    I think we have heard the G answer to the problem, but do you really think your going to get the makeup of this change

    If you become an 800 pound Gorilla it take longer to change your clothes

    Last I heard Google hasnt touched the SERPS in years and spends most of its time shooting down Chinese weather satellites

  84. I just read the article on “googlebomb”!

    Pretty funny how “miserable failure” brings up Bush!

  85. I agree with Brett, but not for the reason he might think. The algo may need to be tweaked to get more web development companies out of there that pull this same silly stunt.

    What good does this do the customer? None.

    If Big G made that a focal point, good on you guys. If not, you should. Let’s see how many web developers/SEO-types maintain their rank when they’re not piggybacking off of their customers.

  86. George

    I agree with multiworded adam and I disagree.
    Many times when I visit a site and I think “Wow… this is a great looking site, wonder who built it, or this is a nice looking site, where did they get the template from” I look all over the place to see if there is any answer to that. So I disagree there. It’s not good for the customer, but it is good for the visitor :)
    I agree that the so called SEO companies should be able to stand on their own legs. If you can’t find them in the SERP’s, why would you even consider them?

  87. Tosif Patel, those changes are completely unrelated to the Googlebomb change. But here’s some feedback for those sites.

    I’ve checked out several sites that have complained about drops in ranking now. The first one was a “dfw” (dallas fort worth) mortgage leads site. I clicked on one or two pages and was being shunted to a completely different site to enter in a mortgage lead. I didn’t really see what new value the dfw site was adding.

    The second site I looked at is mentioned in a previous comment. I said:
    “Andy Hall, this change isn’t affecting your site, so I’d look for other reasons. For example, the scope of your site changes a lot (car insurance + secured loans + broadband internet?), but why would someone click on your pages vs. just using someone else’s version of the OMGUK tool? And when I clicked on the broadband link, I didn’t get any offers at all, just an empty table no matter what criteria I tried to use. If I click to a page titled “Broadband internet providers price comparison Compare Prices on providers of broadband internet” then it’s pretty disappointing if there’s just an empty page with no actual data. :( So I’d take a fresh look at your site for issues like that.”

    That was being mildly polite. The “Broadband internet providers price comparison Compare Prices on providers of broadband internet” page was quite broken because I wasn’t seeing any broadband providers at all.

    The third site that I checked was in the “sudden dip in ranking” thread that you pointed me to. It was an ATV for kids websites. There were several parts of the website that were incomplete, e.g. there’s an FAQ link but there’s no FAQ’s listed, there’s an about-us page that links to a blog, but the blog isn’t there when you click on a link, there’s a “Partners and Links” sidebar but it appears to be a template that hasn’t been filled in because it says “Place some links and affiliate websites that you are a part of” in that section, and it looked like pretty much all the content on the site had been submitted to an article-bank-type site (maybe trying to get some links to the original site?). I’d recommend making sure a site is up and running well (e.g. all the template filled in, getting to be known as a resource in the space) before submitting tons of articles into an article bank site.

    To help fill out the picture, I’ll look at one more site from that thread. This one’s from a site in the “phone biz” space. It appears to be a blog about phones, but I picked a random post about new Vodaphone phones. I found an identical post that looks like the original copy. E.g. mobiletoday.co.uk is a weekly magazine about mobile stuff (so they look like a reputable choice for the creator of this info) and they start their post with “Vodafone has announced three special edition handsets to support the launch of the operator’s McLaren Mercedes team in Valencia this month.” The person who says that they aren’t ranking as well starts their post with “Vodafone has announced three special edition mobile phones to support the commence of the operator’s McLaren Mercedes team in Valencia this month.” In fact, the entire post is identical. Doh. The Mobile Today article ends with “Copyright 2007 : Noble House Media Ltd”. The person complaining that their rankings dropped doesn’t list that or any other copyright notice, so my guess would be that the site that is complaining copied the post from the weekly magazine. Now maybe the person who is complaining of lower ranking has permission to use posts that are copied verbatim, but is that really adding much value for users?

    So:
    - the Googlebomb change is not related to any general ranking changes. Remember when I said that one of our data pushes was moving from 3-4 weekly to ~daily? That’s what’s causing people’s site rankings to change.
    - in several of the cases that I’m checking out, I can see reasons why Google would change the ranking of a site.

    The advice I’d give site owners is to take a step back and take a fresh look at your site. In many cases, you want to make sure that you’re adding lots of value for users. If your site isn’t that well-known yet and there’s still a few incomplete parts of your site, you might not want to upload tons of content to an article bank site quite yet. If you run a blog that is re-using content, ask whether you can differentiate yourself with more in-depth reviews or other features. Look at whether all of the tools you provide work or whether you’re serving up anything that’s broken. Look for ways to make your site more compelling and add value to users.

    Added: Brett, you asked a few comments up about your site. [Note, Brett asked me to delete the comment that mentioned his site, and I've done so. I'll leave the feedback here because it mentions a few points that others can still benefit from, and doesn't mention the specific site.] Just to drill the point home, this Googlebomb algorithm is not affecting you; it’s very limited in scope. I believe that you might be affected by the normal near-daily changes in ranking at Google that could have affected other people in this comment. Anytime you’re affected by ranking changes, it’s worthwhile to take a step back and look at your site with fresh eyes. For example, if you do articles.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com/articles/, I get redirected to a completely different site about dance wear (but it looks like you have some control over the dance wear site as well?). The first two words I see on the site that I got redirected to are “Article Directory.” If I click into the “Finance” area, I see a “Make Money Quick” link. Click on that and I get an article that starts “Everyone wants to make money quick. I’m not sure what happened, but in this age of high speed internet access and instant online everything, everyone is looking for a way to make money quick as well. And why not? Who wouldn’t want to make money fast anyway? So long as no one gets hurt, there’s nothing wrong with making a fast buck.” As you may know, that article about making money quick appears on dozens of other sites.

    That’s five sites I’ve looked at on a Sunday morning. I don’t have the cycles to provide feedback on every site that someone wants me to look at, so my general advice would be to take a step back and ask “What value is my site offering to users?” There should be some good reasons that leap to mind. If not, brainstorm why you’re doing the site. Ask yourselves if you took any shortcuts because you were trying to get a good site up quickly. If so, ask if it’s time to revisit any of those decisions and upgrade or augment parts of the site with different tools, features, content, etc. Just to reiterate the point, the issues that I just mentioned are not insurmountable, but if you’re not ranking where you want to be, that’s an opportunity to look for a new approach and other ways to deliver a compelling site to visitors.

  88. alek, I don’t think we’re going to get into discussing the internals of the Googlebomb algorithm other than to say that it’s due to improved link analysis.

    David, I heard back. I believe that we’ll get this taken care of. One thing you might want to check on is that it looks like for regular Googlebot fetching, you return a “Sorry, your browser does not support Java Script.” stub page. That’s not as helpful as returning the page that browser users see. I think we’ll get it changed on our side as well, but I wanted to mention that.

  89. Harith

    Matt

    Now we have changes in algorithm. Can we call it an Update in the same manner as Update Allegra, for example?

  90. I take back my earlier nice, my blog is now not ranking for certain tems in it’s title tag that it has for a long time. Unfortunate. Do you guys ever test things before putting them into production? Is this even possible?

  91. David

    Matt,

    This note is to thank you for looking into the situation I mentioned.

    I am not associated with UBC or the other site involved in the situation. Just an interested party from the perspective of not wanting to get caught in any similar situation.

    While there may be very few cases of such cases each case can have tremendous negative impact on sites that get affected.

    Been in those shoes before and don’t like to see others in the same situation.

    Then there is the old timer in me saying do it correctly or don’t do it at all.

  92. Hi mat
    Thanks for lookinginto this for me.
    Those pages you mention aren’t really of any mjor concern to us, more a “what can we do with this resource theyve thrown at us”.
    everything else on the site is a huge concern. Although Ive just this minute checked my rankings and we’re back where we were on page 1.

    I did make a few changes to my link profile, notably changing my forum siggys around the net from contextual links to simple url’s.

    Whatever it was that was causing my dip, seems to have stopped now, so Im happy

  93. Matt Cutts: thanks for the reply on the issue i have noted your points will be taking a step back and looking at things from a different prespective from now on hopefully. :)

  94. Matt: alek, I don’t think we’re going to get into discussing the internals of the Googlebomb algorithm other than to say that it’s due to improved link analysis.

    Fair ’nuff Matt – completely understand you can’t give away the secret sauce and didn’t mean to be pushy.

    Just fun to try to figure out “how would Google do that?” and other Blogosphere comments seem to agree my first order analysis might be in the ballpark – if the target URL has tons of off-page optimization for a certain keyphrase, but very little (or no) on-page optimization for that same phrase, then it might fit the signature of a GoogleBomb – which seems totally logical/right thing to do IMHO.

    If nothing else, I hope the minor corner case I was alluding to makes more sense now … although realistically, I doubt a non-spiderable page has ever been GoogleBombed.

  95. Hi again Matt
    Just looked at the pages you mentioned and yes they are very broken indeed. It appears our feed has stopped completely or is only returning one result. There should be 20 offers on each page!!

    Not exactly within the scope of this thread, but I thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  96. Harith

    alek

    Talking about “the secret sauce” :)

    “if the target URL has tons of off-page optimization for a certain keyphrase, but very little (or no) on-page optimization for that same phrase, then it might fit the signature of a GoogleBomb”

    Or.. in general:

    Backlinks which have anchor text not related to the content of the URL they are directing to (landing page) shall be completely ignored (discounted) by the new anti-Googlebomb algos.

    It might be therefore Matt have mentioned that the new anti-Googlebomb algos are also effective in other languages than english. Very smart algos indeed!

    I.e in future the SEO folks should pay more attention to the relevancy of anchor text of backlinks than they ever did before ;-)

    And that leads us to the conclusion that Matt might wish now to update his famous post title from:

    “Tell me about your backlinks”

    To:

    “Tell me about your relevant backlinks” :)

  97. alek, should you ever join Google, then we’d talk for hours. :)

    David, the crawl/index team is checking into it and has a fix ready. They’re also going to see what they can do to prevent sites from being grouped together even if they return the exact same page (in this case, a tiny “your browser does not support Java Script” page).

  98. Appreciate what I think (?) was a compliment Matt.

    Give me a holler if you are ever out near the Republic of Boulder, Colorado and we can chat over Beer & Burgers on my Google-sized Grill – http://www.komar.org/bbq/biggest_bbq/ ;-)

  99. To hell with Matt. I wanna come over and play with that grill! That’s even better than the VC grill that has its own little outdoor kitchen deal.

  100. Matt,

    Thanks again for what turns out to be not always so much of a look behind Google’s walls but a reality check for those who blame everything on Google when their own links are broken.

    There are a lot of sites indeed that don’t provide value and it’s a shame in a way that the policing should have fallen in Google’s lap … I’m a satisfied and (in a small way) profitable AdSense publisher … but when I see one of those cookie-cutter AMF template sites I get so mad I think about pulling out of AdSense. Web 2.0 business alert idea here> Why isn’t there a voting site where any user can ‘rate’ a site for value to the viewer. I have a pretty long list of ones I would like to give points to and an equally long list of “non-valuable” sites I’d love to see disappear. oh well, on to the wars…

  101. CD

    Excellent news? Not really, because one of the sites I help manage doesn’t rank for the very term it is suppose to rank well with since the term aptly describes the site. We have people regularly linking to our site with two keywords all the time because it’s the name of the portal. Problem is Google has now seen fit to drop the site entirely out of the ranks for that one term even though it’s part of the name of our site. That is costing quite a bit in terms of exposure to relevant info to that term.

    We are not attempting to google bomb the term. People like the site and link to it via those two words (with the one word always in there) all the time and we don’t really have much control over it when people do that. They post the words with a link in various Forums, articles, blogs, etc., and most of the time we don’t know about it until we look at our log files.

    The site at one time ranked number 1, 2, or 3 up until late last year in 2006. Now it has been deranked to oblivion for that very important term. People expect that site to rank well for that word but it does not.

    Despite the site being recognized by such sources as: Kim Komando Kool Site, buzz.blogger.com, Writer’s Digest Magazine 101 Best Web Sites for Writers (from 2001-2006), featured in “Imagine Magazine”, Good Housekeeping Site of the Day, etc., Google won’t rank it for the term it should rank for all because people link to it with the name of the portal that contains the keyword.

    Google thinks it’s a google bomb when all that people are trying to do is to provide legitimate links to the site. The term it should rank for won’t rank.

    Google’s broken that way.

    I suspect other sites are suffering similar results because of Google’s broad brush approach… “let’s just nuke the whole city to get rid of a few terrorist.”

  102. lovekills_s

    Hey Matt..

    Posting at your blog for the first time, but been a lurker though..lol..glad to see the whitehouse.gov disappear after so many years..

    What about “Click Here”? Is google planning to do something on it too? Will Adobe too be thrown outta SERPS soon?

    And … i guess, Ummm.. and i guess that might be an indication of an algo update kinda thing?

    Thanks..

    LKS

  103. Nice grill

    Though I prefer the old skool aproach of cutting 56 gall oil drums in half – though you do have to burn off the interal plastic coating they put on thease days.

  104. bob

    Any way but the search fo ‘worst president ever’ trully gives right results. -)

  105. Hi,

    Matt you mentioned that google was thinking of returning the site: operator back to being sub domain specific. I understand why power users want it back the why it was but it is useful in it’s current format so couldn’t there just be two operators? i.e.

    site:www.domain.com – which returns results from all subdomains
    site-specific:foo.domain.com – which only returns results from that specific domain?

  106. Doug Heil

    Hi CD,

    Excellent news? Not really, because one of the sites I help manage doesn’t rank for the very term it is suppose to rank well with since the term aptly describes the site.

    I think you need to read Matt’s comments about the sites again, and then again. Not every site in your niche can be on the first page of results for a certain term. Just because it use to be there does not mean it will remain there. I’d love a cookie for the many, many times your exact comment is posted in forums about other sites, etc. If you truly took a step back and reviewed carefully, or even asked someone totally out of your industry and totally new to your site to give you feedback on it, I’d bet money they could find the reasons for it’s loss of positions. NO site is “suppose” to rank for anything at all. It’s not a right. It’s a privilege. That privilege is only earned if the site is the very best site it can be. That always does not mean it’s the best “optimized” site either. In your case maybe it’s “over” optimized? Since I have no idea what site it is I’m just trying to stimulate your thinking a little. :)

  107. Hi Matt,
    just 1 Question – when I search for “SEO” in German Sites only I get String-Emil.de
    I agree he has SEO in his Webpage Title – but I do not think he’s a SEO. It was a SEO Contest which had a rule that every one has to link to him as “SEO”.

    Well its damn funny this way (as googlebombs are too) but you can not be sure, that in a bio of G.W.B. or s.o. else there will never be the word “failure” in it – but they will not want to rank for it I think. Maybe it is even in a title (My biggest failure or s.th.) but wouldn’t it be gbombing anyway?

    Well I think it’s a bit better with this algo – but some bombs will fit in the little gap between what is surely bombing and what is surely no bombing. Maybe it’s more tricky to build one now but I’m sure it’s fun.

  108. alek, compliments were intended; it’s cool that you’re thinking about stuff like that. And you have a monster grill! I could barbecue like 100 hamburgers on that sucker. :)

    Dave Starr, I don’t want to come across as too harsh or as attacking these sites, but I did want to give some concrete feedback about the sorts of things to look for. Doug’s right that not every site in a niche can be on the first page, so we have to try to figure out the sites that we think users would benefit from the most.

    lovekills_s, glad you have you commenting. Here’s a good way to think of the algorithm. If queries were sand, and Google’s daily queries was a big pile of sand, this algorithm would affect less than a couple hundred grains of sand. It really does have a very limited scope and doesn’t affect a large fraction of queries. The intent of the algorithm is to minimize the impact of “true” Googlebombs, which occur when someone is causing someone else’s page to rank for stuff that they wouldn’t want to rank for themselves. The algorithm could detect phrases such as [leave] as a Googlebomb in future iterations, but it doesn’t right now and I don’t think that Disney would care much either way.

    By the way, given the last paragraph talking about how small the scope of the algorithm is, you may want to read http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/topnews/wpn-60-20070126BushNoLongerAMiserableGoogleFailure.html
    where David Utter speculates that this Googlebomb algorithm change is related to V7N. It’s definitely not. The timing for turning on this particular algorithm was decided weeks ago (before V7N, or Wikipedia changing their links for that matter), and this algorithm is unrelated to either situation. I would mention that on WPN, but I didn’t see any place to leave a comment. So WPN missed out on my user-generated content and I have to stick it here. :)

  109. Matt said:
    “William, I’m about to step into an all-day meeting, but I’ll ask someone to look into it when I can.”

    Re: The new “AdSense Custom Placement Packs Program”

    Any news / more info?

    Thanks.

  110. William Donelson, I was in my all-day meeting for a different reason :). AdSense is outside my area of expertise these days; what sort of news were you hoping for?

  111. Thanks Matt , Good to hear that G is that much strict on duplicate content issue .

  112. COool info …thanks Matt :) You are rocking as usual :)

  113. g1smd

    * * * if the target URL has tons of off-page optimization for a certain keyphrase, but very little (or no) on-page optimization for that same phrase, then it might fit the signature of a GoogleBomb * * *

    So, has anyone analysed who ranks for “click here” and how those rankings have changed over time, especuially recently?

  114. Matt, thanks anyway. Just looking for the skinny on the new “AdSense Custom Placement Packs Program” which requires the 300 x 250 format….. which…. appears to be well-adapted to…. VIDEO ads !!

    The email many of us got does not tell us what to expect, at all. Very little info.

    See:

    http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/3232153.htm

    Cheers!

  115. @g1smd: I do not really know who ranks for it – but everyone on top of SERPs there has a damn good pagerank – maybe we should rank for “click here” to get a better PR?

  116. lovekills_s

    Much Appreciated Matt.. Thanks..

    So, the target would be “Typical Pranks” only.. right ? i.e intentional bombs only..

    Thanks for the link too..

  117. Hmm … this question really leads to me to one main question on the subject Matt. What happens when a site bombs another site via express wishes of their competitors. I have a site http://www.hotels=paris-france-hotels.com which had 2 competitor sites link to it, site wide from them, 2 or 3 years ago. Since then, and having talked to google technical via a resubmission request, my site was given the all clear for 3 months only to then be re-hit by a horrendous penalty after a period. It has never really recovered.

    Now there was talk some years ago saying competitors linking to your site can never damage your ranking. Isnt this just opening up the doorway to let them continue to do what they have already done to me?

  118. oops soincorect link cant change it http://www.hotels-paris-france-hotels.com is the correct one

    Sorry Matt

  119. Will also have the effect of making SEO contests that little bit more challenging! Will be running one shortly to select a partner in India, so will be fun to see how many of them get tripped up.

    Nice one Matt. A good move – but have the changes to help UK based .com sites settled down yet? That’s the one still vexing us over the pond.

    Rgds,
    D.

  120. CD

    Doug Heil, you don’t understand the problem. It’s an artificial “blanket bomb” being dropped on innocent casualties with this “nuke the google bombers” filter. Innocent sites are being removed too with this “stupid filter”. It’s literally a stupid filter, not a smart filter.

  121. I think Google has control over the natural searches. In a way of playing with the algorithm. Result of this that they can get more people to spent money on the sponsored listing. Google as a big giant should not forget that they are up there because of us the users. And if users can make a giant they can also break it. They then can apply the algoritme to their own content. Remember there is only so much anoyance u can cause the others.

  122. No, CD, he understands it completely, as the vast majority of well-built sites weren’t affected (although I did notice quite by accident that a keyword I used to rank #1 for in big G dropped all the way to…#2. If I’d targeted it…or cared…I’d probably be pretty upset.

    Matt, if I send you the phrase in question, can you like fix it just for me so I’m #1 again? I hate this whole runner-up stuff. It’s so not like me. Don’t do it for anyone else, either. Just me. ;)

    Here’s how your comments/situation looks from the standpoint of someone who bears no personal or professional animosity or bias towards you. Take it for what you will:

    1) Google announces Googlebomb filter.
    2) You notice your site’s rankings sliding and slipping.
    3) You assume that the two are connected, without acknowledging any other possibility that you may or many not be at fault.
    4) You don’t show us your site (which quite often, but not always, is the sign that there is something you’re ashamed of or want to hide.)

    There are hundreds of webmasters just like you, CD. I know. For a while, I was one of them. Then I came to a realization (and no, this isn’t one that Doug helped me with, since I came to the conclusion long before I ever met him)…most of the people whose sites are playing the ‘ranking-not ranking” game (like you seem to be) are doing something wrong, including at the time me (I can openly admit to making certain mistakes.)

    Simply put, what you need to do is exactly what Matt is saying in a much broader sense…look at your site. See that there aren’t any errors that could negatively impact your user experience (link schemes, redirects, the same crap you wouldn’t want to run into as a user.) You do that, and you will find a lot of the answers you seek. (It’s really not much more complicated than that.)

  123. Matt,

    What does the new googlebomb algo say about scripts like phpbb. They can generate 1000′s and 1000′s of links back to phpbb.com in a single day with identical anchor text? Is phpbb to remove the “Powered by phpbb” from all their templates and scripts?

  124. CD

    Multi-Worded Adam, I can assure you that there is no game playing going on like what you are talking about. You can choose to to believe me or not on my word, but the truth on this one is the truth. We have this senario:

    Remember, purely hypothetical site:
    There is a site about HTML and the name of the site is HTML Help with domain http://www.html-help.com. People love the site because it’s genuinely helpful. Because many people respect it, they link to it with keywords “HTML Help” on various sites, forums, blogs, etc.,. Trouble is google thinks there is an intentional google bomb and the algo takes the once high ranking position of number 3 for that site for keyword “HTML” and completely removes it into oblivion. The site can’t be found any longer under “HTML” even though that term is extremely relevant and it did rank at number 3 for that term before this filter was applied. People would find it useful if they could find it under that term, but now google won’t show it in the results for that term. That is what has happened. I don’t know why people can’t stop to think that perhaps google has indeed messed up for once. GOOGLE messed up.

  125. CD

    Can someone delink www. html-help. com. I did not intend for that to get linked up. It’s a junk site and I don’t want to promote junk sites (it was intended as an example only). Where are the posting code controls that control how text is posted on this blog site? (i.e. [color=red][/color], [code][/code], etc.). Also, how do we edit our posts once they are posted?

  126. Bah, googlebomb was quite fun :)), polish webmasters used this to position one of polish politicians for word ‘kretyn’ in eng: ‘jerk’ and it was fun to watch his site first :))).

  127. Benny

    CD, I hear you! We’ve been online since 1999, have a nationally recognised name in the UK, UK target audience and have regularly updated products / prices that are always among the best in the country with helpful advice written by ourselves. Our site, though not beautiful, is very often commented on for how easy it is to use and fulfill our visitors requirements.

    Up until late last year we had 1st page rankings for our 2 major products and many derivatives thereof, then we dropped like a stone! Many sites now above us that are junk or nowhere near as relevant or useful for someone searching. I’m already going bald and this aint helping.

    We also have a .com hosted in the UK and have only 394 pages listed in the UK search, and over 4,500 in a worldwide search. Bombed by Google or what?

  128. So CD…what’s your site that Google messed up so horribly on?

  129. Doug Heil

    Hi CD, Did you read my post thoroughly? You stated that your site you are helping is “suppose” to rank for a keyword…. “HTML”. Yet, you don’t show the site….. even domain.com in order for someone to review and give you other problems that MOST all sites have. Most sites have many, many problems. Viewing your site inside of a bubble and stating that you know the googlebomb thang is what happened to your site is kind of silly. If your site is so high quality that you believe it truly should stay on top for a one-word term like … HTML, then surely you could put the domain in question in one of your posts? EX: domain.com. No link, just post the domain. After all; it must be a high quality site if it truly deserves to be on top for that term, right?

    All I am trying to tell you is that there could be other problems that are now affecting the site. It could be something easy. It could be something real tough to spot, especially tough for those who view the site daily. I’m just trying to tell you that showing the site to someone who has no prior biases to the site, might be very beneficial to you.

    If you simply post that the googlebomb new algo thang is what ruined your site; it’s simply not believable to people reading in here since we cannot view the site for some reason.

  130. Doug Heil

    Further; just did the search:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGGL,GGGL:2006-22,GGGL:en&q=html

    Wow; is the only way to describe that first page of results. The ten listed pages for that “one” word term is just about the highest of the highest quality top ten I’ve seen in quite a while for one term, especially a one-word term. This is certainly a case that Google got this one VERY right. I cannot imagine another page or site out there “right now” that deserves to be on the first page of a SERP than those ten pages listed “right now”.

    Wowsie. :)

  131. The HTML term was a hypothetical, Doug. He hasn’t shown us the site OR the term he’s after yet. ;)

  132. CD

    I don’t like showing sites to people for various reasons (mainly, don’t need people analyzing how it’s done and then beating us in the ranks). It’s hard enough ranking without giving away any further data by showing the site so sorry, not going to give URL. Besides, I’m not asking anyone to examine my site anyway. I know why the site isn’t ranking for the keyword it should and it’s most likely due to this google bomb filter that has been blanketly removing legit sites too. Google messed up.

    Doug, not trying to rank for HTML keyword. It was used as a hypothetical example (read more carefully).

  133. CD

    Can someone delink that url in my post above: http : / / w w w . html-help . com /

    It’s a junk site and doesn’t deserve a link.

  134. CD, I only have one thing to say to you: if you are that insecure that you won’t show a site for fear of losing rank to your competition, then you’ve got issues with your site.

    Good sites don’t move much when they hit the top for various keywords, if at all.
    Good sites continue to improve in popularity, regardless of competition.
    Good sites can be shown to anyone without fear of reprisal or negative effects.

    And perhaps the simplest flaw in your logic is the two possible scenarios that play themselves out:

    1) Your site doesn’t rank, so your competition, if they’re targeting the keyphrase(s)/keyword(s) that you are, won’t find you anyway.

    2) Your site does rank, so your competition, if they’re targeting the keyphrase(s)/keyword(s) that you are, WILL find you and “how it’s done” will be publicly exposed.

    3) Your competition doesn’t care what keyword or phrase you’re targeting.

    In other words, you’ve got some paranoia “tinfoil hat” issues going on that shouldn’t be necessary. Step up. Show it.

    If you’re right, then it can get dealt with.
    If you’re wrong, you’ll know you’re wrong.

    Wouldn’t you rather know than guess?

  135. CD

    That’s the thing, it did rank very well for the one word keyword for nearly 5 years up until this year. Nothing was really changed all last year or this year as far as layout, inbound links, etc.,. It ranks just fine for a variety of terms, just not for the most important term which involves the name of the site. So, it seems suspicious that this filter was applied and the rank for that term went bye byes. There are other sites that are somewhat less relevant showing up at the top for the keyword. The site has maintained PR6 for quite a long time. Yep, I might be a bit paranoid, but that’s me.

    I’m just letting people know that the filter inadvertantly hurts innocent sites and that’s no fun. People can choose to believe that google’s filter is great if they want, but I found it to be lacking. Anytime a filter is applied, innocent sites get hit. It’s like throwing a fishing net into the sea half blind. It’s hard to know exactly what the outcome will be. IMO google tweaked it too far.

  136. Matt.

    There is a thread going on over at Search Engine Forums about this algo change.

    It seems that a legitimate SEO has fallen foul of your new algo.

    http://www.searchengineforums.com/apps/searchengine.forums/action::thread/forum::google/thread::1169811165/

    What are your views on this?

  137. Doug Heil

    Hi Curt, erm, I mean “hi CD”. LOL

    That thread at SEF is you all over again.

    If you are a “legitimate SEO” and I have no doubt that you are, you know darn well that positions can change in an instant for a whole slew of reasons. Let me list just a few of them that I can see as far as what Google is doing differently “this year”.

    Sites who “exchange” links are finding there inbound links not counting as much now. “De-valued” is the word that comes to mind. Why would Google reward a site that can exchange links with another site anyway?

    Forum and blog links are being devalued. Why would Google want to reward a site because it can drop a link in a forums or a blog? How tough is that? And why would a forums link be a vote for a site anyway??

    Sites who submit to millions of fake directories and search engines, and thousands of silly article type sites are finding their links not counting for much these days either.

    Those are three main issues. None of them have anything to do with a GoogleBomb filter. Not much anyway. This is why we have tried to explain to you that unless we can actually view the site, there is absolutely and totally no way to know exactly what might be going on with this particular site. Surely you know that not every site is the same? Not every site owner or webmaster handles SEO or links or design/architecture/structure the same?

    There are literally countless numbers of reasons why your site was first page last week and now is on page whatever. To put your thought processes on a one-way track and claim it’s because of a new GoogleBomb filter is just not credible without seeing the site.

    Of course; this is my opinion, but an opinion based on facts as I see them.

  138. CD

    Doug you are right. I’ve known for some time that reciprocals do hardly anything for a site anymore which is why I don’t spend time trying to do reciprocals. The 2-way reciprocals probably cancel each other out. The only thing a reciprocal likely does (as far as I can see) is to help engines find your site and that only requires a few to get that going.

    Google may have devalued forum and blog inbounds too. That’s a possibility that I have considered myself. However, I will say that any forum/blog inbounds this particular site gets, it earns them. It would be unfortunate that google devalues those links that were gotten because someone wanted to share the link via forum to some helpful info.

    Any inbounds from these sources likely do not count for much these days:

    • new sites
    • old sites with PR0 (probably ignored)
    • forum links
    • blog links (except the well respected blogs)
    • most home pages on free web space
    • reciprocals (probably count for almost nothing unless from a very reputable source)

    Despite the reasons for the apparent disappearing into oblivion for the keyword once ranked for, I suspect many good sites will drop off simply because of the way they are linked to from other sources and because of google’s “google bomb filter” taking a baby and bathwater approach to killing off google bombs. That’s the finality of it.

  139. Hampstead, Curt didn’t leave a site in his profile at SEF, and I didn’t see his site mentioned over there either. Not sure if CD knows Curt, but CD didn’t leave a url in their profile either, so I’ve got no way to check it out without a site name. But the Googlebomb algorithm change affected a miniscule number of sites, so I believe Curt’s issue would be due to other ranking changes.

    By the way, if anyone is interested, Nick Carr wrote a blog post about this subject, which he then followed up with an article in the Guardian. I responded to his original post in his comments:
    http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2007/01/googles_machine.php

  140. Doug Heil

    CD and Curt are the same. Each post in here and at SEF used the word “suppose” to rank and was the same. :-)

    Yes CD; I agree with you now. At least you understand that many, many things could be going on with your site. Good job! I’d let Matt take a quick look for you.

    Great post over at that blog Matt! One post in there was good by tmcmh as well.

  141. Supplemental Challenged

    “The advice I’d give site owners is to take a step back and take a fresh look at your site.”

    That’s what you need to do in terms of the Google search engine Matt if you think most of these 950 drops in rankings are anything but a pure Google screwup. The effected domains are almost always the highest quality, most authoritative, deep content ones in a niche.

    The 950 penalty virtually never hits mediocre sites. It’s either pure spam you should never rank anyway, or high quality, niche authority sites.

  142. Doug Heil

    It never ceases to amaze me how many times we read about how sites who lost positions were all these “high quality” sites. LOL

    We design/develop websites as well and we have clients that we either built from scratch or doing/fixing because they were not search engine friendly. But I can also say that the sites are “not” authority sites as such, and maybe just “average” in quality. Well, maybe above average. LOL I’d “never” say they are “authority and high quality” however.

    But the real funny thing is; we never see all these lost positions when Google makes a little filter change of some kind. You can bet big bucks that sites who lost positions lately had “real reasons” they lost positions. I’m actually thinking there may be about 250 real parts to the algo right now. Each part is continuously weighted differently and the parts within the parts within the parts are weighted differently as well. To categorically state that “my site lost positions because of the GoogleBomb filter” is simply silly. At least silly if no one has actually looked at the site in question. Further; to state that the sites are “high quality and authoritative” begs me to state the obvious:

    “Show me please.”
    :)

  143. For those who believe directory links do not count anymore…

    http://www.google.com/search?q=link:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.seethisitem.com%2F

    check Google’s index on the back-links for http://www.seethisitem.com

  144. “Approve of this momentum” and “keep up the good work”?? Sheeesh. That’s insane. Site owners’ PR is DROPPING because of this BS. ALL of my sites LOST PR. One of my sites dropped TWO PR SPOTS, and after getting MORE LINKS. I know of many others that had their PR drastically drop, some from 4, 5 or 6 down to ZERO, because of this crap. And NO, we have NEVER been a victim of any G’bombing NOR engaged in it!!

    So MATT, and you G brown-nosers, explain to the VICTIMS how this is a good thing!!

    If your PR drops, you’re screwed: Your PR drops, then G penalizes you by deleting your pages from the MAIN index and putting them into the spawn of satan supplemental index (or just totally deleting them all together); since your pages are not the main index, no one can find your site, nor will anyone link to you; since no one can find your site, you’re screwed. Then since no one can link to you because your pages have been slammed into supplemental thanks to G dropping your PR, your PR will never increase and you’re screwed that way as well. It’s yet another G causality loop of doom.

    PR has done NOTHING but ruin the internet, ruin business, and LIVES.

    Now show the rare courage Matt of POSTING THIS, and ADDRESSING IT.

  145. Interesting article….I have learned a lot reading about this!

  146. Hi Matt Cutts,
    I run the site given , which has just been shot down in flames with the new algorithm. Even though I have always tried to follow web SEO ethics and more importantly the keywords of my links are totally relevant to the site and the sites they are on are also relevant.

    Regardless of what you may think of such a site I can say that compared to many other sites of this nature, I have tried to ensure there is useful content. Whilst many of the sites remaining on the search results are not.

  147. If a site is victim of google’s new algorithm for keyword search results, is there any way back?
    (Kinda like Coca cola not being able to refer to themselves as a drink)

    BTW Isn’t it about time google did something about these :

    mykeyword1.mydomain.com, mykeyword2.mydomain.com etc..
    overuse of unnecessarily titled interlinks ‘mykeyword1′, ‘mykeyword2′ etc.
    arriving on a page with just loads of outbound links

    All in the top ten of mykeywords!!?

  148. Sethel

    Just some observations about this, I have a site that uses a unique made up term/name which obviously means no one else competes for it. Now this site actually has hundreds of people linking to it with that term as that is the name of the site. For example, imagine your site is called trentertne12.com or something completely unique. Ever since this update, the site still shows up when people type in the term in question but it is now buried in like the 7th page of results and the sites that link to it actually rank higher now for that unique term in particular.

    For me it doesn’t really matter as it is a unique term and even if people have to go in circles to find the site they will eventually land on the site they were looking for, but it is kind of strange for the users and maybe that is an indication that this filter is a little too broad in the way it determines what is a bomb or not. I’m thinking one of the comments I read where if the word/keyword that is linked is not present on the landing page at all that it would be a good indication factor of a bomb.

  149. Ian

    If queries were sand…

    Did you know that mathematicians believe that there are many times more stars in the Universe than grains of sand on the entire earth? :D

  150. Hi Matt,

    I noticed your blog on my stats report the other day. When I followed the link, I saw that someone had posted a comment using my website. I have no idea who did this or why and I am upset that someone impersonated me.

    I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I did not post the comment above.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
    Thank you,
    Janet

  151. Hi ,That’s mean the search query for “pattaya hospital” which is the direct experience review from me ,who’ve worked there as a doctor in the hospital in pattaya for more than 10 years(in all hospital there) ,has just been buried 2 weeks ago from side effect of just repeated the anchor “pattaya hospital review” like any SEO’ve usually do in another big site…….this is my miserable failure again.

  152. I believe it`s a constant process, Google tries to improve its results when you guys find they are beeing manipulated, that is a never ending story. Finally what`s most important is to have quality in the SEARP`s.

  153. To Google, what constitutes a site that adds value? It seems that sites that provide a lot of text content are the ones that get the biggest reward. But what about things like audio and video, which can add a lot of value to a site?

    Also, I’m kind of sad to see the Googlebomb algorithm change. I always found them to be incredibly entertaining.

  154. Doug Heil

    Hi Not-Organic,

    I viewed the backlinks Google shows for that site you posted. You claim those links are counting in some way. They may or may not be counting. Just because Google is showing backlinks, OR not, means very little.

    I then viewed the site in question. I tried to find the site on very specific phrases that are in the title tag of the site:

    photo hosting company
    host classified ads

    Those phrases are specific and shouldn’t be hard to get positions on. The site was nowhere to be found. My point is that just because a site can show some links coming in from somewhere in the world means very little in the large scheme of things.

  155. Doug,

    That is because as of yesterday morning, my site has disappeared completely from the serps. Before yesterday, my rankings were good. I was at #3 for photo hosting, for example. I have no idea why this happened.

    Matt, if you or anyone can provide me any insight as to why I lost my rankings, I would love to here it. I am fairly new to seo, but I spent lots of time on webmaster forums, learning, and I worked so hard to promote my site and now this. All for nothing. :(

  156. Hi Matt,

    Would the latest update on Jan 25th effect rankings or just searching please…what would be nice is when google does any updates can we be notified and also what they did please..

    Best regards from Alan

    PS what no more videos…:)

  157. “Janet Doherty Said,

    February 10, 2007 @ 7:02 am ”

    1. you are using frames. I noticed that the url in my browser never changed when i went to your photo samples page.

    2. the url in the photo samples page doesnt change either when i hover over the images.

    3. the photo sample images , rather than going to a new page within your site , pop up into a new, toolbar-less window.

    all of these aspects are really bad news for search engine spiders.

    1. dont use frames.
    2. keep your content within the current browser window – no pop ups.
    3. every item on your site should have a distinct url.

  158. oh – and janet – no privacy policy on your contact form or a link to one. thats BAD news..and could make your site “untrusted” or part of the “bad neighbourhood”.

    always have a privacy policy page. and be upfront and straight about what you do with customer data.

    but your biggest problem is frames. get rid of them.

  159. David Michaels

    Matt said: “The intent of the algorithm is to minimize the impact of “true” Googlebombs, which occur when someone is causing someone else’s page to rank for stuff that they wouldn’t want to rank for themselves. The algorithm could detect phrases such as [leave] as a Googlebomb in future iterations, but it doesn’t right now and I don’t think that Disney would care much either way.”

    John Says: Aren’t googlebombs a reflection of social choice? If every link is a vote then all the people who are using something like miserable failure in their anchor text are voting socially for their belief. Why should google really care one way or the other about this on the social level?

    Even on a commercial level it’s not a problem. If a company is thought to be a miserable failure and thousands of bloggers link to that company’s website for then what’s the problem? The website can make use of that traffic to educate it’s customers as to why it is not. They can use the medium as effectively as anyone else to defend their position.

    The statement above “The intent of the algorithm is to minimize the impact of “true” Googlebombs, which occur when someone is causing someone else’s page to rank for stuff that they wouldn’t want to rank for themselves.”
    is not something Google should care about. I wouldn’t want to rank for “worst customer service”. But what if I do really give the worst customer service? Shouldn’t the democracy of the net be allowed to reflect opinion? Is Google going to go into the real world and determine whether my customer service is really bad? Of course they aren’t. What about the words I want to rank for, such as “Best customer service”? Is there a way to guarantee I will rank high for those words? Google will say no, just build a good site and links will come. A googlebomb isn’t just a case of “someone” causing a site to rank for a particular keyword, it is a case of many people working collaboratively to do so. Why wipe out the efforts of those people? If the target doesn’t want to come up for those keywords then perhaps he or it should look within to see how they can change perception.

    The truth is that in any system there will be ways to exploit new ways to use it. Google is just the biggest iteration of the internet phone directory. And the people who truly care about ranking high are the ones who have some commercial gain in mind.

    IF Google truly cared about the value to businesses in ranking high then it would wipe out all the spam sites out of the index. It would create a content verification system that would allow original, first published works to be granted the most weight and filter out duplicate content that was not verified for duplication. And it would require registration with real time verification and inclusion/rejection to be included in the index at all. The days of littering the index with pure crap would be over. Then google could say it really returns the best results for it’s users, who are both the web surfers and those who provide useful destinations for those surfers.

    But “do no evil” Google is now a public company. And as such it is fundamentally against the nature of a corporation to do anything that reduces their profits. Thus if they did anything that would significantly help legitimate businesses to rank high in the natural rankings it would diminish the need to purchase top spots through pay-per-click. Such is the evil nature of commerce, the need for profits overwhelms the innate desire to do the right thing.

    If queries are grains of sand and Google is the beach and the Google bombing algo affects just a few hundred sites then why bother with it? Why take the chance that you might adversely affect many legitimate sites with a broad brush? I agree that many, probably the majority of sites aren’t really close to being all that they can be in terms of design, useability, flow, and even value. Right now though you have people freaking out out about SEO to the detriment of building great sites. Since there is no guarantee that if one builds a great site that it will rank high, that it won’t drop or get replaced by a spam site webmasters are often caught between finishing the project the right way and doing seo, which includes doing a lot outside of building the website.

    Google is positioning itself to be (is) the arbiter of what is good and bad on the web. If a website buys links then it’s bad. If it has “natural” links then it’s good. People, users should be the ultimate voters here. If Web 2.0 really represents the power of the person behind the keyboard then Google should enlist us all to help clean up the web. Whoever suggested voting on websites was right on target. User votes coupled with Google’s calculations would probably lead to a pretty accurate directory.

    Anyway, that’s how I see it.

  160. We are soory today we finish tested Google Bombs on some sites goverment.

    Effect is clear Google Bombs still working.

    Any comment for You Please.

    Kill

  161. SEO Bill

    I feel that my site has fallen victim to this recent algorithm change regarding googlebombing.

    I have a consumer finance site that ranked well for dozens of terms for a year now. These rankings were the result of quality content, good SEO practices and the generosity of the web community for providing inbound links to my site because of its value to visitors. These rankings did not come quickly, it took a couple of years of hard work and building good will in the web community.

    Recently my rankings for all of the applicable terms disappeared instantly — I made no content changes to my site, with the exception of joining an affiliate program. I placed the affilate link on a page that was getting a #6-8 rank for a particular term. The affiliate manager made a point to ask me what pages I placed the links on. A couple of weeks go by, and my site shoots to the #1 position for the applicable search term. I figured it to be a temporary push to the top, so I did not think much of it. A week or two goes by and my site is dropped for just about any term I ranked well for. I logged into my Google Webmaster Tools account to look for any answers, and I noticed that the page I placed the affilate link on received over 15,000 incoming links in the past few weeks! I started looking at these links, and they were coming from blog sites, many of which were not even written in English or contained pornographic links!

    I can only assume that someone associated with this affilate program employed means to place a link to my site on all of these blogs to drive this page to the top of the SERPs, which in turn would increase traffic to the affiliate program.

    Well it worked for about a week or so, but now my site has been removed from the SERPs–I am guessing due to this new algo change I have been reading about.

    I have two questions:
    1) I had no part in this googlebombing — how can I undo it to restore my favorable standing with Google.

    2) Do I have any legal recourse against this affiliate program — assuming I can prove any wrongdoing on their part?

    It is amazing how years of hard work can be undone in such a short time.

    Due to potential legal ramifications (and difficulty of proving such suspicions) I am not mentioning my site or the affiliate program for now.

  162. Heather Paquinas

    Wait just a minute, Googlebombs still work:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:-CEe39275PcJ:www.phplinkdirectory.com/+%22powered+by+php+link+directory&hl=en&strip=1

    These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: powered by php link directory

    and to seo bill, you should disable that account, since he is destroying your natural traffic to make him more money.

  163. jonathan

    so whats the latest update on presidents bush

  164. I think the google bomb effect could of been minimalized by not placing such high rankings on sites that scrap usenet. What you think about usenet over html Matt?

  165. Matt , can you please comment what Kill Bill said above. It is clear , that Google-bombs still exist.
    And Kevin, Placing low rankings – it is just a matter of time , bomb-link will go to the top of the Google Serp. If links are not so high ranked, it just means that a Google-bomb author will have to get more of them.
    Some guys who do comment spam may get lets say , like 100k backlinks to their sites. And they somehow put different pharma and financial sites to the top of Serp. I think it will not be difficult for them to create a Google-Bomb.
    Good luck , everyone

  166. I was under the impression that their where a few that where affected and only a certain niche ” Which coincidentally may of been a sensitive Topic ” . Maybe all of those working for google that were getting residual income off of profesionally hand editing the results were affected.

    I may be wrong but I think ” Lets Say ” these sites that aquired +30,000 links very quickly were just Severly or heavily Filter because they ” Hit a Tender Spot ”
    Lets say the tender spot was the 30,000 usenet html over nntp sites for example and it sort of severly impacted googlers since they rank these MFA spammy sites owned by certain employeed googlers which had adsense on it.

    I think its rather unique at now they can’t really ban the sites since they have to litterly slice their own throats.

    I think its rather funny since now they just hand job the link counts manually . Which is just as racist as seperating the blacks and whites or People that work for the search engines and just us other NGRS.

  167. Matt,
    If Google Bombing is created by linking from 20+ sites to 1 with a set of keywords and you are working to solve this problem, how will you deciede if it is a bomb or someone actually creating linking correctly, because the only difference between the two is the words used..
    All the best from Alan

  168. Well, internet is a big place and its not always possible for any search engine to keep tab on every “search word“, so you cant totally blame Google for all this mess….they always try to curb the problem and still deliver the best search results for any query…..But this “Google bomb” problem is a bit tricky to solve ……..they have to make a balance both in terms of scripting and the human factor, because this thing (Google bomb) may often happens unintentionally.

    Good luck!
    ————
    Spam protection: what is the sum of 2 + 8 ? = 28 :P

  169. So what’s the latest update on Bush now besides miserable failure?

  170. Greg

    Hi Matt, As you know, you didn’t make any comment about the +950 issue that a lot of webmasters seem to experience. Can you please explain what it is and how a website fatally gets into this black hole?
    Thanks

  171. hello Matt, as we all know that you are basically known as father of webmaster guidelines and Google is following various ways to stop black hat techniques but i have still seen many sites which follows cloaking and doorway techniques by using javascript and yet their keywords are in ranking and we as a webmaster are competing with these sites. I just want to know that if Google can’t crawl javascript then what they can do to stop these improper techniques.

  172. Well Googlebombs sure haven’t been fixed, if they ever were.

    Try this search:

    bad fishing charters in RI

    Scroll to the bottom of the search results. you see the message:

    Tip: These results do not include the word “bad”. Show results that include “bad”.

    So the whole page of results has the word ‘bad’ in links to these sites. This isn’t right, because when the word exists on the page, you often see a snippet which can give you the context. When the word is only in links, there is no snippet and so it can appear that the site is in fact “bad” “worst” “miserable loser” etc.

    Oh, and you can bet that the owners and promoters of those websites didn’t set up those links. Since that are the highest ranking for the result without the word ‘bad’ it takes very few links to get the effect. I know I didn’t setup any such link with the word bad in it.

    After all, why would I want my site to show up for such a result? Give me the option in Webmaster tools to block my site in showing up on results for words that aren’t on the page.

    Why even supply results where the word does not actually appear on the page? You can’t tell me the technolgy doesn’t exist, otherwise that message wouldn’t appear at the bottom. That puts a stop to the problem completely. Now your site doesn’t show up for these types of bombs.

    By the way, this is just one example of many that I’ve found.

  173. Just wanted to respond to Heather’s comment above. It’s kind of difficult to draw the conclusion that because you have a link or text about the software you are using in your footer that it would equate to being part of a “google bomb”. Matt has mentioned many times that coming up with a great idea for software is a great way to build links and even provided examples. Matt uses WordPress, and many WordPress blogs contain credit in the footer. The list goes on from phpbb to vbulletin to joomla.

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