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‘Failure’ Googlebomb Ended – For Obama

First a refresher course on the history of the Googlebomb, “Miserable Failure.”

(Click to enlarge)

Lest we forget, former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt called President Bush "a miserable failure" in a presidential debate on September 4, 2003.

This witticism was taken up by Michael Moore and other leftwing internet scamps, who did their best to make sure that any Google search for the phrase “miserable failure” would return a link to President Bush’s official White House biography as its top result.

But now that Mr. Obama’s official biography now resides on that same page, the Solons at Google have decided this is unacceptable.

Observe how Google spins their sudden crackdown:

Detecting new "Googlebombs"

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Posted by Matt Cutts, Software Engineer

Though the spirit of change may be in the air in Washington, some things apparently stay the same. Yes, the old online prank called "Googlebombing" returned for a brief while recently, when Google searches for the words words [failure] and [cheerful achievement] returned President Obama’s biography as the top result.

You may remember this issue from a few years ago, when the query [miserable failure] led to the biography of President Bush. For some reason, all those links pointing to the Bush bio were redirected to Obama’s. Some people have asked in the past whether these results are a sign of political bias on Google’s part, and we’ve explained that this isn’t the case.

Rather than edit these prank results by hand, we developed an algorithm a few years ago to detect Googlebombs. We tend not to run it all the time, because it takes some computing power to process our entire web index and because true Googlebombs are quite rare (we joke around the Googleplex that more articles have been written about Googlebombs than there are actual examples of Googlebombs).

After we became aware of this latest Googlebomb, we re-ran our algorithm and it detected the Googlebomb for [cheerful achievement] as well as for [failure]. As a result, those search queries now return discussion about the Googlebombs rather than the original pages that were returned.

Be sure check out search engine analyst Danny Sullivan’s post from yesterday. He does a great job explaining the history behind this and how it all works.

By the way, Google probably “became aware of this latest Googlebomb” when an outraged New York Times alerted them on January 23, 2009.

Talk about quick results.

Please note that it took a mere six and a half long years – but only a couple of days after Mr. Obama was inaugurated – for Google to decide this was all terribly wrong and that they had to "re-run” their “algorithm.”

Meanwhile, Google has the chutzpah to claim:

Some people have asked in the past whether these results are a sign of political bias on Google’s part, and we’ve explained that this isn’t the case.

Well, then that settles that.

Remember, Google’s slogan is “Don’t be evil.”

Remember too that Google and MoveOn.org are two of the organizations behind the laughably named “net neutrality.”

A matter which is already engraved as an agenda item at the newly revamped White House website:

Ensure the Full and Free Exchange of Ideas through an Open Internet and Diverse Media Outlets

* Protect the Openness of the Internet: Support the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet.

Well, it’s only fair. Google paid for it.

And with more than just money.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “‘Failure’ Googlebomb Ended – For Obama”

  1. gipper says:

    If you do a search for “miserable failure” on Yahoo!, the first return will be the White House biography of Barack Obama. Do the search before Jerry Yang and crew yank it.

  2. artboyusa says:

    “DREAM A LITTLE DREAM”…an adventure into America’s secret slumberland of Obama love!

    Four in the morning. The dark stillness of the Lincoln Bedroom was broken by the soft sound of someone muttering in his sleep…

    “And so, all thanks to Allah the most merciful and …zzzzzz… compassionate, it came to pass… zzzzzz…that on a frozen January day the eyes and minds of an expectant world, a world hungering for hope and change, focused… zzzzzz… on the son of a Kenyan goatherd and an American moonbat as he stood behind six inches of bullet proof glass and said ‘Er…”

    “Barack – wake up!” snapped Michelle, nudging the president sharply in his toned thorax. “You’re self-mythologizing in your sleep again!”

    “Huh? Oh – sorry, honey” mumbled Barack as he rolled over and pulled the blankets up to his chin.

    “Save it for your next book, big shot” said Michelle “and let me get some rest”.

    “Okay, honey”.
    Across town a smile played across the lips of MSNBC’s Keith Olberman as in his favorite dream, he assumed the position…

    “Yeah, take it, bitch! Take it! You like that don’t you, you little slut! Huh? Who’s the daddy, huh? Who’s the daddy? Say it!”

    “You are, Mr President – you are!” moaned Keith happily. “You’re the daddy!”
    Elsewhere, by curious coincidence Chris Mathews was having almost the exact same dream, as were Brian Williams, Katie Couric, Pinch Sulzberger, Maureen Dowd, Gary Trudeau, Jon Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, the panel of “The View”, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Anniston, Robert DeNiro, Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Neil Young, Artboy’s sister and the whole Artboy family (except him) and the 90% of Europeans and the 83% of Americans who, according to current polling, think Obama’s doing a great job.
    But it wasn’t all change we can believe in…oh no, for Nemesis follows Hubris on swift wings. The lights were burning late in the Georgetown home shared by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her sultry “body person” Huma.

    The bedroom floor was littered with the leftovers of their vigorous loveplay: the cuffs, the whips, the leather mask, the electric devices with their many curious attachments, the enormous wooden pizza paddle and now, desire sated, the Saudi intelligence asset sat up in bed, working on her latest report to her to her handlers in Riyadh, while beside her Hillary, brow wrinkled with concentration or maybe just wrinkled, scribbled notes on a yellow legal pad and planned her future.


    “Yes, dollface?”

    “How do you spell ‘coup d’état’?”

    “K – o – o – d – a – y…”

    • jobeth says:

      Dang it!!!!!

      Don’t leave us hanging….When is the next installment coming out!

      (Great stuff! LOL)

  3. Helena says:

    “Some people have asked in the past whether these results are a sign of political bias on Google’s part, and we’ve explained that this isn’t the case.”

    “Shut up,” they explained.

  4. polemos says:

    Google has vested corporate interest in keeping the Government out of internet regulation and they share similar philosophical view points with the Obama.

    What is disheartening? Google started with some donated computers on a drooping table in the spirit of freedom of information in a digital age. Billons later they have a mission and a message.

    • proreason says:

      The google founders have joined the new American Aristocracy, are wealthy beyond imagination, and have zero interest in anything other than forcing their political views on the country.

      Their roots are irrelevant. Good for them for creating something useful.

      But like Buffet and Gates, now that they have theirs, they prefer to spend their time imposing their nutty will on the rest of us.

      It’s another angle on totalitarianism, and we shouldn’t be surprised by it any longer. The list of people who were able to mak their fortunes through the free market and then turned on it is endless. It is so long, in fact, that the pattern is a truism.

  5. polemos says:

    “Making their fortunes through the free market and then turned on it is endless”
    well said

  6. Texas Mom says:

    I put Miserable failure in altavista and came up with the Obama White House website. Sometimes payback is funny.

  7. Steve says:

    Mr. Limbaugh is talking about this article as we type.

  8. Liberals Demise says:


  9. canary says:

    It appears that Obama’s official governement GSA site Change.gov has corrected some GSA violations. Originally, to write a suggestion or comment, you were required to give enormous personal information to post, which does not follow GSA federal government sites. Found a blog where others were stunned. Wrote GSA, never heard back, but now noticed a change. Wouldn’t trust sending anything on it anyways. Googled the man appointed to overseer the site, and read some articles by Obama’s newly appointed CIA director. Obama apparently, picks alot of people, as himself, bitter against America. Who’d ever figure after Obama saying we should risk more innocent American soldiers on the ground instead of bombing from air, that Obama would bomb Pakistan. Guess his felonist buddy has rubbed off on him, on the fun he had bombing America. Think he wants Obama bin Laden, as a feather under his cap. And now after critizing McCain, he says there will be residual troops staying in Iraq after this now envisioned long pull out of troops. Then he picks a man that can’t do his own taxes, to run the treasury. Grassley (R) saying he’s the only one that can do the job, doesn’t impress me much. He has done nothing for whistle-blowers. Obama lost me when he took off his American pin, to make a statement as he stated. So many of his friends just don’t like America. How come the movie stars and PETA isn’t raising cain?

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