Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A lesson in googlebombing for all of you. First, go to Google and look up the phrase "miserable failure." (Failure will work as well.)

Wonder why that happens? It's called googlebombing!

Each search engine has an algorithm that ranks results, hopefully putting the best one first. Search engines can do this based on date (newest first) or by number (the pages with the most occurences of the word first) or other ways. Google's genius is ranking by popularity. I think part of this has to do with how many people click on a result in the results list and how long people stay at that site. But another big part is how many pages link to certain pages. The more pages that link to a particular site, the more relevant it must be and the higher it goes in the rankings.

So some of you may have blogs and you may have been hit by spam comments. I got hit by this last year. I had no idea why anyone would want to do this and thought they were just trying to sell a product. That was indeed the aim, but it was more sneaky than I realized. Some companies have 'robots' (little bits of code) that trawl through blogs and post their little blurb and a link to their website. The hope is that when Google goes through blogs indexing all the posts and comments, it will see all the links to this certain company and their site will show up higher in the search results for that particular product.

Back to miserable failure. Loads of people have put this phrase into their websites and used the phrase as a direct link to certain peoples' biographies or websites. So when Google trawls through reading anchor links it doesn't know that this is an incorrect or misleading link - it's just a computer after all!

So that's googlebombing and that's how it happens, more or less. Any questions class?

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