April 08, 2007

Anti-Google-Bomb Algorithm Proved To Use Page Words, Not To Be Hand-Editing

George W. Bush: A Failure Once Again, According To Google, by Danny Sullivan at Searchengineland.com, points out that a Google search for "failure" (not "miserable failure") currently has a George Bush page at the top result, due to the page having the word "failure" in it. That happened because the http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/ page has "Latest Headlines", which then had this part of

"President Bush Makes Remarks on the Emergency Supplemental President Bush on Tuesday said, "In a time of war, it's irresponsible for the... Democratic leadership in Congress to delay for months on end while our troops in combat are waiting for the funds. The bottom line is this: Congress's failure ..."

And so this shows the new Google defusing algorithm uses words on a page to determine in part what's a Google bomb.

Notably, in the comments, "RedCardinal" said: "Well I think we can safely dispel any theories about this being a handjob now."

While nobody who studies Google seriously thought that they hand-edited these problematic results, Google's secrecy breeds superstition, so it's worth placing extra emphasis on the evidence that the changes were not done by a simple blacklist, but were indeed an algorithmic change.

Note this should not be taken to assume that no search engine has ever hand-edited a problematic result! But the number of algorithmic quirks vastly outweighs the rare examples, due to sheer complexity.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in google | on April 08, 2007 11:55 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Hi Seth

Quite a few people who would be considered authorities on Google did believe that this was a handjob - DaveN and Mikkel DeMib to name two.

Best rgds
Richard (RedCardinal)

Posted by: Richard Hearne at April 9, 2007 09:21 AM