A Googlebomb (also known as a Google wash) is an attempt to influence the ranking of a given site in results returned by the Google search engine. Google's PageRank algorithm ranks Web sites higher if the sites that link to that page all use consistent anchor text.

Search Engine Optomization (SEO) companies have been formed to help companies achieve higher rankings on the Internet. These companies take advantage of the ranking systems and use techniques such as Googlebombing to achieve results.

A competition held in 2004 hosted by two Search Engine Optomization (SEO) companies, Dark Blue and, offered a prize of an Apple iPod to the person whose page ranked first when searching for "nigritude ultramarine."

In other cases, Googlebombing is just for fun, albeit sometimes mean-natured political fun. During the last election, several Googlebombs made the e-mail rounds. For example, Googleling "miserable failure" results in the top listing for the biography of George W. Bush.

As a result of commercial abuse of Googlebombing, Google has made modifications so that it is more difficult.


(Because the Internet is constantly evolving, the rankings of these links may vary.)

"Waffles" used to lead to John Kerry's 2004 election site.

"Ignorant asshole" returns the Web site of conservative columnist Cal Thomas.

"Lying sack of shit" returns the Parliamentary Web page of Australian Federal Attorney General Phillip Ruddock.

"Gastrointestinal dysentery" returns Kres Chophouse & Lounge in Orlando, Florida, a restaurant that fired a server for blogging about work.

"French military victories" returns a fake Google error page which suggests "French military defeats" as an alternate search.

"International sign for choking" in Google Images search yields the logo of the Philadelphia Eagles football team, shortly after their defeat in Super Bowl XXXIX. The same search later showed a logo of the New York Yankees baseball team, in reference to their stunning ALCS loss to the Red Sox in 2004. (As of June 2005, neither of these results are returned)

"Answer to life the universe and everything" isn't a Googlebomb, but an inside joke by Google employees yielding the result of 42. Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans will understand this one.

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