Google Defuses the Bomb

The New York Times has reported that Google has adjusted its search algorithms to avoid Google Bombs. Victims have included President George W. Bush, President Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Rick Santorum, and Senator John Kerry.

It used to be searching for the words “miserable failure” would lead to President Bush’s home page at the White House.

Google announced on Thursday on its official blog that “by improving our analysis of the link structure of the Web” such mischief would instead “typically return commentary, discussions, and articles” about the tactic itself.

Indeed, a search on Saturday of “miserable failure” on Google leads to a now-outdated BBC News article from 2003 about the “miserable failure” search, rather than the previous first result.

Despite the changes by Google, some other Google bombs are still operative. A search for “French military victories” still produces a first result that says, “Your search — French military victories — did not match any documents.” Click there and your find a mockup of a Google search page asking the question “Did you mean: French military defeats.”

For a delightful history of the first Google Bomb

Kip - the Sikh bomb expert in The English Patient


  1. Nice pic, Simon, but how does it relate to the article? What am I missing?

  2. The photo is a very creative reference. It is from the film version of The English Patient directed by Anthony Minghella, book by Michael Ondaatje. The photo is of the character Kip, a sapper or military engineer who detects and diffuses mines, with his love interest Hana on the back of the motorbike in war-torn Tuscany. For me the most spine-tingling, hair-raising scene in both book and film is Kip putting himself in peril dismantling a mine while waist-deep in muddy water. From the book we later learn there are only 12 sappers left in Italy, that most have perished on the job.

    That is, of course, Juliett Binoche as Hana and Naveen Andrews as Kip; he is now better known as Sayid Jarrah on the popular TV show Lost.

  3. Ah, yes. That’s why it’s familiar. It is a bit of a stretch.

  4. Its called “thinking outside the box”. ;-)

  5. Thinking outside the book, maybe.