Google has made some alterations to its algorithm in order to reduce the effect of ‘Google bombing’. This means that a search for ‘miserable failure’ will no longer lead to President Bush’s homepage at The White House.

However, the change has not dealt with all these Google bombs. For instance, a search for ‘French military victories’ on Google will still return spoof pages for the first three results.

On the official Google Webmaster Blog, Matt Cutts said the issue hadn’t been a high priority for Google before, as the ‘bombs’ were only targeting relatively obscure search queries, but it had wanted to correct the perception that they represented Google’s opinion.

Cutts said the algorithm change was only a minor one:

“This new algorithm is very limited in scope and impact, but we hope that the affected queries are more relevant for searchers.”

It seems that the influence of link text has not suddenly been eroded – as BigMouthMedia points out, sites often don’t use terms that are relevant to their content, and link text prevents such sites from being overlooked.

It seems that Google may instead be looking at patterns of links which all use the same word or phrase in a short time period, and may indicate an attempt at ‘Google bombing’.

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