Allan Pollett

Toronto SEO Consultant

Miserable Failure and Google Bombs

For those unfamiliar with Google bombs (also known as link bombs), they are attempts by people to manipulate the Google ratings in order to make a site that’s not related to a keyword phrase appear at the top of the search engine results. The first Google bomb was done by Adam Mathes on April 6, 2001, where he created massive links with the phrase “talentless hack” to his friend Andy Press’s, a writer, web site. However, Google bombs were made famous or infamous by George W. Bush. When Bush was first elected there was a strong web movement against him where organizers encouraged others to link to the site with the keyword phrase “miserable failure”. The result was within a short time the president’s web site did rank #1 for “miserable failure”. Of course, the white house site didn’t ever use the keyword so the only way it could rank for the term was based on the links using the term pointing to it. This was an embarrassment not only for the president but also for Google. The press had a field day, which partially saved Google because soon their articles on the bomb ended up ranking higher than the president’s site. But the bomb showed a weakness in Google’s core since it used link popularity to determine rankings. Google has since responded to the use of such link bombs and the majority of such attempts to manipulate Google’s results have been controlled.

Do Google Bombs or Link Bombs Still work?

The answer may surprise you, but yes they do work if done to site is related to the bombing term. If you encourage others and link within your own site using a targeted keyword phrase you will find that you will start to rank well for it. The idea is your site should be themed to the keyword phrase and contain it in the actual page text. Ways to achieve link bombing within your own site’s pages include: using navigational link optimization, footer links, or bread crumb links. Though this is a means to manipulate Google’s rankings, it is a white hat approach because you, in theory, are making your site more relevant to the keyword phrase that actually relates to the content shown on your site rather than trying to rank for a popular term that is non-related to your site’s content.

So test out this “SEO guru” on Google and see if link bombs and Google bombs still work 😉

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Any questions about link bombs or Google bombing, please feel free to contact me at 905-417-9470 or by email at

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