Friday, September 16, 2005

Google on Googlebombing

So, this popped up on the Google blog the other day - very similar to what we were discussing in class on Weds. Interesting to hear it from them...


Blogger sc said...

This seems to come up every year. Fox addressed it in an editorial yesterday. (Complete with arm chair legal analysis.)

But I think if Google allows people to be slimed by this trick, they might find a judge one day who doesn't buy this Google defense that somebody else is committing the libel and slander and defamation, that Google's passive role in letting it happen isn't good enough.

We can't get away with that on TV by saying, "We didn't slander that guy. The person we were interviewing did the slandering." The courts would find we carried the slander, so we become a slanderer.
(Gibson 9.16.05)

Here is interesting article about googlebombing if anybody wants to read up on it:

Google Time Bomb

And this is a link to one of the first googlebombing pranks:

Filler Friday: Google Bombing

9:47 AM  
Blogger Geoff Nunberg said...

The reason why Googlebombing works, of course, is that the search engine indexes phrases that appear only in the links to a page, in addition to those in the page itself. Why do this at all? There are good reasons for this, but I'll leave it as an exercise for the class to figure out.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Helen Kim said...

Google’s PageRank algorithm determines the “authoritativeness” or importance of a web page by analyzing link information: anchor text, how many other web pages link to you, and recursively, how many of those web pages linking to you are also important. The underlying logic is that important pages will have lots of other links pointing to that page.

For more info on PageRank:
Economist article on PageRank

However, as we’ve seen with GoogleBombing, PageRank’s logic can be easily exploited by large organized groups of pranksters. This makes me wonder if perhaps Google may start to put less emphasis on PageRank as part of their ranking algorithms as it becomes less reliable? Search engine companies are always trying to keep ahead of those who have figured out their ranking algorithms (spammers, other people who try to game the system) to protect the integrity of their rankings.

Also, what other features of a web page would be more useful in properly determining the authoritativeness of that page? What might Google need to use as an alternative to PageRank?

2:58 PM  

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