A few days ago there was a lot of excitement over the latest Google-bomb (whereby if you search for “miserable failure” in Google you get a George W. Bush biography as the first result). Like many, I’m entertained by such antics, but don’t think this is really a Google-bomb done right.
The idea of a Google-bomb is that when a bunch of websites link to a certain web page with certain text as the link, the Google search results for that text favor that web page. This works because Google is very keen on reading the text of a particular link and giving it a lot of weight in deciding the relevance of the linked-to page.
Some search terms have a lot more competition than others. For example, if a whole bunch of web pages used the text “Microsoft” to link to something other than, it probably wouldn’t affect the Google results much because there are already so many pages linking “Microsoft” to Likewise, if a term is hardly ever used, like “iPie” it’s pretty easy to get to the top of the results with just a link or two. (case in point: my Thanksgiving pie comes up #2 with only one inbound link)
I doubt that “miserable failure” is all that popular of a term. It probably only takes a few links to have any given site rise to the top of the results. A much more fun Google-bomb would be to use a competitive search term for which people might actually search. For example, if a bunch of people linked “George W. Bush” to a page about a miserable failure, it would have been a much more impressive feat.
In my opinion the best Google-bombs are those that take a company name and get a mudslinging page to show up above the actual company’s home page. It’s a lot harder to do, and it would have really interesting trademark implications (it would employ the decentralized use of a trademark to intentionally create initial interest confusion).