Ever since Google realized that people are smarter than they think and began helping their SERP rankings by building their link popularity, the debate has been on about how dedicated they are to controlling it. It’s also a question we deal with quite a bit with people wondering, “Will it affect my relationship with the search engines?”. As you might expect, here at LinkWorth, we are constantly monitoring the topic and making sure everything we do is as effective for the Advertiser as possible, but staying within the guidelines set forth by the search companies.
As I was thinking about the topic today and doing a little net searching, I happened across the main story that broke Google’s ranking system out to the public. The story that bred the term “Google Bombing“. . .Miserable Failure. In case you have yet to hear about this story, bloggers began sharing the same blogroll links which included a link to George W’s bio on whitehouse.gov’s website, with the anchor text of “Miserable Failure”. As more and more bloggers added it to their sites, people began to notice if you searched for the phrase “miserable failure“, the top listing was in fact George W’s bio page. The very page people were linking to. Once people caught on to the trick, the Google Bombing era took off. Here are a few other popular Google bombing campaigns and see where they fair today:
- Internet Rock Star – The true original found Google bomb for Ben Barnes site.
- Talentless Hack – A guy named Mathes tried to make his friends site, Andy Pressman, number one.
- More Evil Than Satan – When searched, Microsoft was number one.
One BIG difference between Google Bombing and text link advertising is relevance. Google bombing happens when there is an indiscriminate number of non-relevant websites with relation to the target site that links to it. Text link advertising is on topic and in some way relevant to the target site linked to. In addition, it’s done to assist advertisers in promoting their website on other similar, relevant websites.
Now back to the question at hand, just how worried is Google about linking? The reason I prefaced the answer with the miserable failure example is, it was one of the first examples of someone manipulating the Google results with links. The search term is completely non-relevant to the top listing, yet, look at the first listing in the Google results for “miserable failure“. If this was such a concern to Google, don’t you think they would have taken care of the single most important leak to their algorithm in their history? So my response is, Google has more important fish to fry in their world. “Sure” they talk about changing algorithm’s to spot paid links, but I think text link advertising is the least of their worries right now.