Searching on “miserable failure” in Google no longer brings up the Bush biography at whitehouse.gov. In fact, whitehouse.gov no longer comes up at all for that term. Google was the first search engine to really focus on link text, regarding them as “votes” for particular site. Yahoo and MSN followed suit, and indeed, searching on “miserable failure” still brings up Bush’s biography at #1 in both of their engines.
Google insists that it has simply made adjustments to its algorithm to somehow counter the effect of these “Googlebombs” (events like “miserable failure” where the term itself has no literal bearing on the content in question, it’s just a concerted effort by Netizens to express their opinions via links). I’m not enough of a mathematician to know how this could be accomplished but this thing just smells fishy. Of course, a search on “waffles” no longer brings up johnkerry.com (still there in Yahoo and MSN). Still, the paranoid schizophrenic in me thinks they’ve made specific exceptions.