Obama gets 'cheerful achievement' Googlebomb

A search for "cheerful achievement" on Google led first to Barack Obama's new White House Web site--until news of this particular Googlebomb topped it.

Obama Googlebomb
A Googlebomb returned President Barack Obama's official Web site as the top Google search result for 'cheerful achievement.' Google

One administration after George Bush became the top result for a Google search for "miserable failure," new President Barack Obama has his own such artificially engineered result for the query "cheerful achievement."

Earlier Thursday morning, a search for the relatively unusual term returned Obama's whitehouse.gov site as the top link, the result of a bit of work called a Googlebomb . However, perhaps illustrating the frailty of this particular effort, the result had been bumped to second place behind news of the Obama Googlebomb published by the Google Blogoscoped blog. See the more recent view in the screenshot below.

Google uses an algorithm called PageRank to help choose what sites get top rankings in search results; a site's PageRank score is higher when many other sites link to it. A Googlebomb can exploit this algorithm when many people create Web pages and appropriate links.

Eric Baillargeon of Montreal initiated this particular Googlebomb and claimed a victory at 10:45 a.m. PST.

It didn't affect search sites of either Yahoo or Microsoft on Thursday morning.

Update 10:13 a.m. PST January 23: Google didn't have anything new to share about this particular Googlebomb, instead reiterating a two-year-old blog post about the subject.

"By improving our analysis of the link structure of the web, Google has begun minimizing the impact of many Googlebombs. Now we will typically return commentary, discussions, and articles about the Googlebombs instead," Ryan Moulton and Kendra Carattini said in the post.

Google tries to address the issue in part because "over time, we've seen more people assume that they are Google's opinion, or that Google has hand-coded the results for these Googlebombed queries," which isn't true.

After about an hour, news of the Googlebomb effort derailed the Googlebomb itself.
After about an hour, news of the Googlebomb effort derailed the Googlebomb itself. Google
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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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