This day in search marketing history: January 25
Google defuses 'miserable failure' Google bomb
In 2007, Google finally defused a "Google Bomb" that had returned U.S. President George W. Bush as its top organic result since December 2003 when searching for [miserable failure].
Originally, Google was of the belief that "We just reflect the opinion on the Web, for better or worse." Eventually, however, Google came up with an algorithm change to deal with this and other Google bombing "pranks":
"People have asked about how we feel about Googlebombs, and we have talked about them in the past. Because these pranks are normally for phrases that are well off the beaten path, they haven't been a very high priority for us. But over time, we've seen more people assume that they are Google's opinion, or that Google has hand-coded the results for these Googlebombed queries. That's not true, and it seemed like it was worth trying to correct that misperception. So a few of us who work here got together and came up with an algorithm that minimizes the impact of many Googlebombs."
How did this Google bomb happen? A campaign encouraged people to link to Bush's bio using the anchor text "Miserable Failure".
And while Google defused this bomb, Bush remained in the top organic position for [miserable failure] on Yahoo and Microsoft Live and in second position at Ask.
Read all about it in Google Kills Bush's Miserable Failure Search & Other Google Bombs and Happy First Birthday, Google Bomb Fix!
Here was the before and after at the time:
Today, here's what a search for [miserable failure] looks like on Google - with Wikipedia's Google bombing page in the top spot.
Also on this day
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2018: Google announced more options for users to control the kinds of ads they see.
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2018: Google wasupgrading the report.
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Google's 2016 Bad Ads Report: 1.7 billion ads removed, including fake news ads
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2013: The latest images showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more.
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Google Revamps Submit Content Page
2012: Google updated its URL submission tool page and redesigned its Submit Your Content page.
WSJ: Federal Prisoner Helped U.S. Sting Against Google's Pharmacy Ads
2012: Google had to pay $500 million after acknowledging that it both allowed and helped Canadian pharmacies sell drugs in the U.S. in violation of federal law.
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2012: Google would show emergency alerts in your area on the map, with more details on the alert.
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2012: DuckDuckGo reached 700,000+ queries in a day for the first two times.
Yahoo Beats Expectations with Weak $1.5B Revenues, But Display Up 17 Percent
2011: CEO Carol Bartz called the revenues "encouraging."
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2011: The fflick service analyzed and organized comments about movies.
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No Feed, No Problem - Google Reader Now Tracks (Mostly) Any Website Change
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Science Fiction Writer Le Guin Launches Petition Against Google Book Settlement As Opt-Out Deadline Looms
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Confirmed: Google Domain Park To Cease Ads On Domain Kiting Sites
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Google AdWords Won't Allow Personal Attacks On Politicians
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Microsoft Earnings Soar, Gates Calls For More Help To Poor
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Doerr And Moritz: A Tale Of Two (Very Wealthy) Google Investors
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Search in Pictures: Google Cake, Banana Room, Kate Nash @ Yahoo
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Google Video Search Now Includes YouTube Results
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Google To Share Bugs & Bombs At Google Testing Blog
2007: Google would be sharing their debugging and testing experiences with the public.
Fox Subpoenas Google's YouTube For Identity Of User Who Uploaded "24" Video
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Google AdSense Tests New Features: My Publishers, Ad Placement & Message Inbox
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Speculation: The Google Search Results Page With Google Video Ads
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From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)
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Past contributions from Search Engine Land's Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.
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