I was just reading this article in Computer world about a political blogger, Chris Bowers, using a tactic called “Google Bombing” to raise the profile of some negative articles about Senator John McCain. While I’m not likely to be considered a McCain supporter, I’m not a big fan of Google Bombing.
If you are not familiar with the term, “Google Bombing” is the practice of getting as many sites as you can to link to the same page or pages, using the same format for the links. The intent is to raise the page rank of the links, so that they show up earlier in the Google search results. For a more in-depth explanation and some historical context, please visit your local Wikipedia.
Basically this blogger is trying to game the system to promote his viewpoint. if you have to stoop to tricks like that, that tells me that what you have to say is not strong enough to stand on it’s own. Bowers isn’t the only one doing this, he’s just being the most vocal about doing it. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that both the Obama and McCain campaigns are doing some targeted “Google Bombing” of their own.
Is it really worth the effort? If one or both the candidates were unknown, then “Google Bombing” would have some effect. I think anyone is on the fence between the two isn’t going to make up his mind until after they debate a few times.
Getting past the political considerations, I just don’t see the long term value of add of messing around with how Google and other search engines index web pages. Being able to find just anything I need on web instantly is a luxury I would not want to give up. Using “Google Bombing” to mess with Google’s advance ranking technology has the tendency to turn valued search results into noise. What would be considered an acceptable or desired reason to “Google Bomb”?