Fri, May 24 2013
The Bulgarian Government website has been Google bombed. Anyone who types in the word "провал" (proval, meaning "failure", "ruin" or "collapse") in Google's search engine is given a list of search results in which the Government website is the highest ranked and presumably most relevant result.
Wikipedia defines Google bombing as "internet slang for a certain kind of attempt to raise the ranking of a given page in results from a Google search, often with humorous or political intentions".
Google bombs go back to 1999 when the search term "more evil than Satan himself" would list the homepage of Microsoft as the most relevant result.
The most famous Google bomb has probably been the search term "miserable failure", which, in early 2007, listed the site of then-US president George W Bush as most relevant.
Until 2007, a Google bomb was created by many pages linking to the same page or website, all with the same text for the link. This made the Google algorithm think the linked text was relevant to the content of the page it linked to.
In 2007, Google changed its search ranking algorithm, saying in its official blog that "by improving our analysis of the link structure of the web", such mischief would instead "typically return commentary, discussions, and articles" about the tactic itself, The New York Times reported in January 2007.
In the same blog, Matt Cutts, the head of the Google's webspam team, said that Google bombs had not "been a very high priority for us".
"Over time, we've seen more people assume that they are Google's opinion, or that Google has hand-coded the results for these Google-bombed queries. That's not true, and it seemed like it was worth trying to correct that misperception."
Bulgarian daily Dnevnik quoted unnamed bloggers as saying they started a series of blogs in which they link to the government website with the word "провал".
Since Google refuses to explain exactly how its search algorithm works, it is not entirely clear whether the action of the bloggers or the occurrence of the word "провал" 361 times on the government website itself helped it achieve its ranking as most relevant website for that term.
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