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June 16, 2013

Knowledge Graph and Google Bombs

Google bombing has a new meaning, with the introduction of the Knowledge Graph. From [more evil than Satan himself] to [miserable failure], Google bombs were created by getting many web pages to link to the target homepage and use the same anchor text. For example, Microsoft haters linked to Microsoft's homepage and used this anchor text back in 1999: [more evil than Satan himself]. After a few months, Google's top result for [more evil than Satan himself] was Microsoft's homepage. Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button made Google bombs more popular, many people thinking that Google modified search results pages.

Here's a screenshot from 1999, well preserved by

... and the well-known political message "miserable failure" (screenshot from 2007):

Google started to use some algorithms to defuse bombs in 2007, but there are still ways to artificially inflate Google rankings for a page to show your opinion. For example, when you search for [completely wrong], Google shows pictures of Mitt Romney, the Republican Nominee for the US Presidential Election in 2012.

Knowledge Graph brings a new meaning to Google bombs. If you search for [kłamca], you'll get a Knowledge Graph box for Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister of Poland. "Kłamca" is a Polish word that means "liar". In fact, many of the top results for [kłamca] are about Donald Tusk, who is no longer popular in Poland.

Apparently, this Google bomb has been reported back in 2010 by Polish news sites. Back then, the top search result for [kłamca] was the Wikipedia page for Donald Tusk. Now Google shows an entire sidebar with information about the Prime Minister of Poland.

This reminds me of a screenshot from 2009. This time it's from Bing:

As Search Engine Land noticed, when you search for [miserable failure] using Google right now, you get an info pane about Google bombs and some disambiguation links for George W. Bush and political Google bombs.

{ Thanks, Jerzy. }

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