Sunday, October 30, 2011
The terms Google bomb and Googlewashing refer to practices, such as creating large numbers of links, that cause a web page to have a high ranking for searches on unrelated or off topic keyword phrases, often for comical or satirical purposes. In contrast, search engine optimization is the practice of improving the search engine listings of web pages for relevant search terms.
It is done for either business, political, or comedic purposes (or a combination of the latter two). Google's search-rank algorithm ranks pages higher for a particular search phrase if enough other pages linked to it using similar anchor text (linking text such as "miserable failure"). However, by January 2007 Google had made changes to search results to counter popular Google bombs, such as "miserable failure", which now lists pages about the Google bomb itself. Google bomb is used both as a verb and a noun. The phrase "Google bombing" was introduced to the New Oxford American Dictionary in May 2005. Google bombing is closely related to spamdexing, the practice of deliberately modifying HTML pages to increase the chance of their website being placed close to the beginning of search engine results, or to influence the category to which the page is assigned in a misleading or dishonest manner.
The term Googlewashing was coined in 2003 to describe the use of media manipulation to change the perception of a term, or push out competition from search engine results pages (SERPs).