Google bomb

The terms Google bomb and Googlewashing refer to the practice of causing a website to rank highly in web search engine results for irrelevant, unrelated or off-topic search terms by linking heavily. In contrast, search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the search engine listings of web pages for relevant search terms.

Google-bombing is done for either business, political, or comedic purposes (or some combination thereof).[1] Google's search-rank algorithm ranks pages higher for a particular search phrase if enough other pages linked to it use similar anchor text. By January 2007, however, Google had tweaked its search algorithm to counter popular Google bombs such as "miserable failure" leading to George W. Bush and Michael Moore; now, search results list pages about the Google bomb itself.[2] Since no later than 21 June 2015, the first result in a Google search for "miserable failure" is the Wikipedia article defining Google bomb.[3] Used both as a verb and a noun, "Google bombing" was introduced to the New Oxford American Dictionary in May 2005.[4]

Google bombing is related to spamdexing, the practice of deliberately modifying HTML to increase the chance of a website being placed close to the beginning of search engine results, or to influence the category to which the page is assigned in a misleading or dishonest manner.[5]

The term Googlewashing was coined by Andrew Orlowski in 2003 to describe the use of media manipulation to change the perception of a term, or push out competition from search engine results pages (SERPs).[6][7]

Google Bomb Miserable Failure
An example of Google bombing in 2006 that caused the search query "miserable failure" to be associated with George W. Bush and Michael Moore.

History

Google bombs date back as far as 1999, when a search for "more evil than Satan himself" resulted in the Microsoft homepage as the top result.[8][9]

In September 2000 the first Google bomb with a verifiable creator was created by Hugedisk Men's Magazine, a now-defunct online humor magazine, when it linked the text "dumb motherfucker" to a site selling George W. Bush-related merchandise.[10] Hugedisk had also unsuccessfully attempted to Google bomb an equally derogatory term to bring up an Al Gore-related site. After a fair amount of publicity the George W. Bush-related merchandise site retained lawyers and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Hugedisk, thereby ending the Google bomb.[11]

Adam Mathes is credited with coining the term "Google bombing" when he mentioned it in an April 6, 2001 article in the online magazine uber.nu. In the article Mathes details his connection of the search term "talentless hack" to the website of his friend Andy Pressman by recruiting fellow webloggers to link to his friend's page with the desired term.[12] Some experts forecast that the practice of Google Bombing is over, as changes to Google's algorithm over the years have minimised the effect of the technique.

Uses as tactical media

The Google Bomb has been used for tactical media as a way of performing a "hit-and-run" media attack on popular topics. Such attacks include Anthony Cox's attack in 2003. He created a parody of the "404 – page not found" browser error message in response to the war in Iraq. The page looked like the error page but was titled "These Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be displayed". This website could be found as one of the top hits on Google after the start of the war in Iraq.[13] Also, in an attempt to detract attention from the far-right group English Defence League (EDL), a parody group has been made known as "English Disco Lovers", with the expressed purpose of Google bombing the acronym.[14]

Alternative meanings

The Google bomb is often misunderstood by those in the media and publishing industry who do not retain technical knowledge of Google's ranking factors. For example, talk radio host Alex Jones has often conducted what he calls "Google bombs" by dispatching instructions to his radio/Internet listeners.[15][16] In this context the term is used to describe a rapid and massive influx of keyword searches for a particular phrase. The keyword surge gives the impression that the related content has suddenly become popular. The strategy behind this type of Google bombing is to attract attention from the larger mainstream media and influence them to publish content related to the keyword.

Google bowling

By studying what types of ranking manipulations a search engine is using, a company can provoke a search engine into lowering the ranking of a competitor's website. This practice, known as Google bowling, is often done by purchasing Google bombing services (or other SEO techniques) not for one's own website, but rather for that of a competitor. The attacker provokes the search company into punishing the "offending" competitor by displaying their page further down in the search results.[17][18] For victims of Google bowling, it may be difficult to appeal the ranking decrease because Google avoids explaining penalties, preferring not to "educate" real offenders. If the situation is clear-cut, however, Google could lift the penalty after submitting a request for reconsideration. Furthermore, after the Google Penguin update, Google search rankings now take Google bowling into account and very rarely will a website be penalized due to low-quality "farm" backlinks.

Other search engines

Other search engines use similar techniques to rank results, so Yahoo!, Bing, and Ask.com are also affected by Google bombs. A search for "miserable failure" or "failure" on September 29, 2006, brought up the official George W. Bush biography number one on Google, Yahoo!, and MSN and number two on Ask.com. On June 2, 2005, Tooter reported that George Bush was ranked first for the keyword "miserable", "failure", and "miserable failure" in both Google and Yahoo!; Google has since addressed this and disarmed the George Bush Google bomb and many others.

The BBC, reporting on Google bombs in 2002, used the headline "Google Hit By Link Bombers",[19] acknowledging to some degree the idea of "link bombing". In 2004, Search Engine Watch suggested that the term be "link bombing" because of its application beyond Google, and continues to use that term as it is considered more accurate.[20]

We don't condone the practice of googlebombing, or any other action that seeks to affect the integrity of our search results, but we're also reluctant to alter our results by hand in order to prevent such items from showing up. Pranks like this may be distracting to some, but they don't affect the overall quality of our search service, whose objectivity, as always, remains the core of our mission.

— [21]

By January 2007, Google changed its indexing structure[2] so that Google bombs such as "miserable failure" would "typically return commentary, discussions, and articles" about the tactic itself.[2] Google announced the changes on its official blog. In response to criticism for allowing the Google bombs, Matt Cutts, head of Google's Webspam team, said that Google bombs had not "been a very high priority for us".[2][22]

Over time, we’ve seen more people assume that they are Google's opinion, or that Google has hand-coded the results for these Google-bombed queries. That's not true, and it seemed like it was worth trying to correct that misperception.

— [23]

Motivations

Competitions

In May 2004, the websites Dark Blue and SearchGuild teamed up to create what they termed the "SEO Challenge" to Google bomb the phrase "nigritude ultramarine".[24]

The contest sparked controversy around the Internet, as some groups worried that search engine optimization (SEO) companies would abuse the techniques used in the competition to alter queries more relevant to the average user. This fear was offset by the belief that Google would alter their algorithm based on the methods used by the Google bombers.

In September 2004, another SEO contest was created. This time, the objective was to get the top result for the phrase "seraphim proudleduck". A large sum of money was offered to the winner, but the competition turned out to be a hoax.

In March 2005's issue of .net magazine, a contest was created among five professional web developers to make their site the number-one site for the made-up phrase "crystalline incandescence".

Political activism

Some of the most famous Google bombs are also expressions of political opinions (e.g. "liar" leading to Tony Blair or "miserable failure" leading to the White House's biography of George W. Bush):

  • In 2003, Steven Lerner, creator of Albino Blacksheep, created a parody webpage titled "French Military Victories".[25] When typed into Google, the first result (or the "I'm Feeling Lucky" result) led to a webpage resembling a Google error message, reading, "Your search – French military victories – did not match any documents. Did you mean French military defeats?" The page received over 50,000 hits within 18 hours of its release. Links near the top of the page led to a simplified list of French military history. The only war listed as a win for the French was the French Revolution, in which they fought themselves. As of May 2, 2011, the page is no longer listed in Google's first few results for "French military victories", but several links on the list go to sites recounting the joke.[26]
  • In 2003, columnist Dan Savage began his campaign to define the word "santorum" after former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum made several controversial statements regarding homosexuality. A search for "santorum" led to the top result being a website defining it as being related to anal sex. One search engine expert has argued that this campaign does not qualify as a Google bomb, arguing that it is instead a successful new definition for a word explained by a website.[27] (see search engine optimization)
  • In 2004, Jewish writer and activist Daniel Sieradski urged visitors to his blog to link to the Wikipedia article for "Jew" in response to findings, first publicized by Steven Weinstock,[28][29] that a search for "Jew" returned the anti-Semitic website Jew Watch at the top of the results.[30] The campaign was successful in displacing the site from the top result.
  • In the same year the Persian Gulf naming dispute was the subject of a Google bomb by an Iranian blogger named Pendar Yousefi.[31][32][33]
  • Also, in 2004, a Google bomb involving searching "ladrones" (Spanish for thieves) on Google linked the SGAE website.
  • In France, groups opposing the DADVSI copyright bill, proposed by minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, mounted a Google bombing campaign linking ministre blanchisseur ("laundering minister") to an article on Donnedieu de Vabres' conviction for money laundering. The campaign was so efficient that as of 2006, merely searching for ministre ("minister") or blanchisseur ("launderer") brings up a news report of his conviction as one of the first results.[34]
  • In 2004, after the controversy that erupted in the Philippines over the allegations that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had cheated in the elections, the phrase "pekeng pangulo" (Tagalog for "fake president") was linked to her official website.
  • In December 2004, the "Yan Ang Pinay" ("I am a Filipina") campaign[35] encouraged bloggers to self-identify as Filipina and link the word Filipina to target URLs such as the Filipina Women's Network (ffwn.org),[36] to displace mail-order bride sites in search results.
  • In 2004, kretyn (Polish for moron) and similar insults referring to stupidity were linked to websites of various Polish politicians including Andrzej Lepper and Roman Giertych.
  • In 2005 an Estonian blogger led a successful campaign to link the word masendav (Estonian for dismal or depressive) to the homepage of Estonian Centre Party.[37] The Centre Party's website still ranks first in the results for masendav as of 2011.[38]
  • In the 2006 U.S. midterm elections, many left-wing bloggers, led by MyDD.com, banded together to propel neutral or negative articles about many Republican House candidates to the top of Google searches for their names.[1]
  • Also in 2006, Siedziba szatana (satan's headquarters) was linked to the website of controversial Polish ultra-conservative Catholic broadcaster Radio Maryja.[39]
  • In January 2007, Google announced a change in its search engine algorithm to significantly reduce the effectiveness of the technique.[40]
  • In March 2007, the Washington Post reported that Nikolas Schiller was able to Google bomb "Redacted Name" to highlight his website's block on search engines.[41]
  • During the initial stages of the anti-Scientology campaign, Project Chanology, hackers and other members of an anonymous Internet group Google-bombed the Church of Scientology's main website as the first match found when the term "Dangerous Cult" was searched.[42]
  • In September 2008, John Key, leader of the New Zealand National Party was Google-bombed with the query "clueless".[43]
  • In January 2009, a successful Google bomb was performed against the site of the Bulgarian government by a loose group of bloggers and forum users. It was discovered that by mistake, the robots.txt on the government.bg forbade the crawling of the site by indexing machines which allowed for Google bombing. The group linked the search term "failure" (Bulgarian: провал) to the government site. Within a couple of days, the first search result for "провал" was the Bulgarian government's site regardless of the search results language.[44]
  • In April 2009, the website Smart Bitches, Trashy Books launched a Google bomb against Amazon in response to its removal of LGBT material from their ranking lists, Amazon citing it as "adult material". Within hours of its creation the page appeared on the first page of returned search results for the term "Amazon Rank".[45]
  • In July 2009, Opie and Anthony successfully performed a new method of Google bombing in which a specific word or phrase is artificially raised in Google Trends. The phrase "Rev Al is a racist" was made #1 on Google Trends on July 8, 2009,[46] due to the controversial comments made by Reverend Al Sharpton during Michael Jackson's Memorial Service. "Corey Feldman is Hurting" was also number 14 on the top Google Trends for the same day in response to Feldman dressing up as Michael Jackson during the memorial service.[47][48]
  • In France, in July 2009, "trou du cul du web" ("Asshole of the Internet") returned as the first result the official website of French president Nicolas Sarkozy; in September 2010, the same tactic resulted in President Sarkozy's Facebook page being the first result. As of May 2014, the top 10 results for the same Google search contain references to Sarkozy.
  • In Iran, in September 2009, the phrase "ahmadinejad president of iran" returned a fake Google search page which reads, "Did you mean: ahmadinejad is NOT president of iran. No standard webpages containing all your search terms were found".[49] The phrase which is suggested by the fake Google page, ahmadinejad is NOT president of Iran, is linked to a video explaining events happening in Iran after Iranian presidential election, 2009.[50]
  • In September 2010, 4chan users tried to Google bomb the phrase "Robert Pisano MPAA CEO arrested for child molestation!", as a related action to DDoS attacks on the RIAA, MPAA and British Phonographic Industry (BPI) websites. This was in retaliation for DDoS attacks carried out on The Pirate Bay and various other file-sharing sites.[51]
  • In February 2011, several pro-life activists managed to make it so that the page for abortion on English Wikipedia was the second highest ranking result for the term "murder".[52][53][54]
  • During the summer of 2011, a joke in response to Craig James’ role in the firing of Mike Leach was posted on EveryDayShouldBeSaturday.com. The joke was indexed often enough by a major search engine that typing "Craig James" into the search box at the search engine resulted in the autocomplete function including "killed 5 hookers".[55] Later this humorous search index behavior was characterized as a "Google bomb" in regards to Craig James’ campaign for elected office.[56]
  • As of February 9, 2012, typing "cum sa te inscrii in pnl" (Romanian for "how to enlist in the National Liberal Party") brings you "Did you mean: cum sa te inscrii in pdl", PDL being the acronym for Romania's Democratic Liberal Party.
  • In July 2012, searching for "plagiator" (Romanian for "plagiarist/cheater") returns the personal page of Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta, who is accused of plagiarizing his PhD thesis, and various news websites which provide information about the scandal that erupted around the politician. This Google bomb has become itself a piece of news in the Romanian media.[57]
  • In October 2012, searching the phrase "completely wrong" on Google images, returns pictures of Mitt Romney, the Republican Nominee for the U.S. Presidential Election in 2012. However, this was not actually an example of a Google bomb - the result came naturally from a series of comments made by Romney, rather than a concentrated campaign intended to link the two.[58]
  • In September 2012 the English Disco Lovers campaign was initiated with the intention of replacing the English Defence League (EDL) as the number one result for EDL on Google.[59] On 27 August 2013 the English Disco Lovers overtook all English Defence League related items and became the top search result for the acronym "EDL".
  • In June 2015 the search query "top 10 criminals" returned the images of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alongside the images of terrorists, murderers and dictators. However, in an official statement Google apologized[60] and said that it was due to an erroneous meta data published by a British daily.[61]
  • In July 2018, the search query "idiot" returned images of President Donald Trump.[62]

Commercial use

Some website operators have adapted Google bombing techniques to do "spamdexing". This includes, among other techniques, posting of links to a site in an Internet forum along with phrases the promoter hopes to associate with the site (see spam in blogs). Unlike conventional message board spam, the object is not to attract readers to the site directly, but to increase the site's ranking under those search terms. Promoters using this technique frequently target forums with low reader traffic, in hopes that it will fly under the moderators' radar. Wikis in particular are often the target of this kind of page rank vandalism, as all of the pages are freely editable. This practice was also called "money bombing" by John Hiler circa 2004.[63][64]

Another technique is for the owner of an Internet domain name to set up the domain's DNS entry so that all subdomains are directed to the same server. The operator then sets up the server so that page requests generate a page full of desired Google search terms, each linking to a subdomain of the same site, with the same title as the subdomain in the requested URL. Frequently the subdomain matches the linked phrase, with spaces replaced by underscores or hyphens. Since Google treats subdomains as distinct sites, the effect of many subdomains linking to each other is a boost to the PageRank of those subdomains and of any other site they link to.

On February 2, 2007, many have noticed changes in the Google algorithm that largely affects, among other things, Google bombs: only roughly 10% of the Google bombs worked as of February 15, 2007. This is largely due to Google refactoring its valuation of PageRank.[65][66]

Quixtar's bomb

Quixtar, a multi-level marketing company, has been accused by its critics of using its large network of websites to move sites critical of Quixtar lower in search engine rankings. A Quixtar independent business owner (IBO) reports that a Quixtar leader advocated the practice in a meeting of Quixtar IBOs. Quixtar denies wrongdoing and states that its practices are in accordance with search engine rules.[67]

GoDaddy bomb

On December 26, 2011, a bomb was started against GoDaddy to remove them from the #1 place on Google for "domain registration" in retaliation for its support for SOPA.[68] This was then disseminated through Hacker News.[69]

Other examples of Google bombs

In Australia, one of the first examples of Google bombs was when the keyword "old rice and monkey nuts" was used to generate traffic for Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt's website. The keyword phrase references the alleged $4 billion in loan deals brokered by Tirath Khemlani to Australia in 1974.[70]

See also

References

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News articles

Albino Blacksheep

Albino Blacksheep is an animation website made in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that publishes member submitted digital media. Most of these are movies or games created with Adobe Flash. The website also features image galleries, audio files, and text files. Additionally, there was a mobile section that provides ring tones, screensavers, and wallpaper for mobile phones.There is also a downloads section, featuring reviews for popular free software. In addition to the media available on the website, there is also a large user community that takes advantage of the forums and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel; members of which often offer tutorials on the production of the type of media found on Albino Blacksheep.

Campaign for the neologism "santorum"

The campaign for the neologism "santorum" started with a contest held in May 2003 by Dan Savage, a sex columnist and LGBT rights activist. Savage asked his readers to create a definition for the word "santorum" in response to then-U.S. Senator Rick Santorum's views on homosexuality, and comments about same sex marriage. In his comments, Santorum had stated that "[i]n every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be." Savage announced the winning entry, which defined "santorum" as "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex". He created a web site, spreadingsantorum.com (and santorum.com), to promote the definition, which became a top internet search result, displacing the senator's official website on many search engines, including Google, Yahoo! Search, and Bing.In 2010, Savage said he would take the site down if Santorum donated US$5 million plus interest to Freedom to Marry, a group advocating legal recognition of same-sex marriages. In September 2011, Santorum asked Google to remove the definition from its search engine index. Google refused, responding that the company does not remove content from search results except in very limited circumstances.

Courage and Consequence

Karl Rove: Courage and Consequence is a grassroots funded compilation of rock songs released on March 3, 2010 in anticipation of Karl Rove's similarly titled memoir. The subtitle of the record is The Unabridged Audio. It was conceived as "an anticipatory sonic recollection of the gross misdeeds attributable to Rove over the past decade".It is both a compilation album and digital download package, as well as a direct lampoon of Courage and Consequence: My Life As a Conservative in the Fight written by Karl Rove. Project: Courage and Consequence was conceived of, in tandem with the compilation LP to Google bomb the memoir of the similar title and "mess with the search results"

Craig James (running back)

Jesse Craig James (born January 2, 1961) is a former American sports commentator on the ABC and ESPN television networks.

Prior to becoming a sportscaster, James was a professional football player for the New England Patriots of the National Football League and for the Washington Federals of the United States Football League. He ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate in Texas in 2012, but was defeated in the first round of the Republican primary.

Eddie Ifft

Eddie Ifft (born 1974 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American stand-up comedian, actor and writer.

Failure

Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Product failure ranges from failure to sell the product to fracture of the product, in the worst cases leading to personal injury, the province of forensic engineering.

Google

Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Apple and Facebook.Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering (IPO) took place on August 19, 2004, and Google moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex. In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page who became the CEO of Alphabet.

The company's rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine (Google Search). It offers services designed for work and productivity (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides), email (Gmail/Inbox), scheduling and time management (Google Calendar), cloud storage (Google Drive), social networking (Google+), instant messaging and video chat (Google Allo, Duo, Hangouts), language translation (Google Translate), mapping and navigation (Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth, Street View), video sharing (YouTube), note-taking (Google Keep), and photo organizing and editing (Google Photos). The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, and Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on the Chrome browser. Google has moved increasingly into hardware; from 2010 to 2015, it partnered with major electronics manufacturers in the production of its Nexus devices, and it released multiple hardware products in October 2016, including the Google Pixel smartphone, Google Home smart speaker, Google Wifi mesh wireless router, and Google Daydream virtual reality headset. Google has also experimented with becoming an Internet carrier (Google Fiber, Project Fi, and Google Station).Google.com is the most visited website in the world. Several other Google services also figure in the top 100 most visited websites, including YouTube and Blogger. Google is the most valuable brand in the world as of 2017, but has received significant criticism involving issues such as privacy concerns, tax avoidance, antitrust, censorship, and search neutrality. Google's mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", and its unofficial slogan was "Don't be evil" until the phrase was removed from the company's code of conduct around May 2018.

ISIS-chan

ISIS-chan (ISIS(アイシス)ちゃん, aishisuchan) is a fictional manga character which originated on the Japanese internet textboard 2channel and was created in 2015 after a series of incidents in which Japanese nationals were kidnapped and beheaded by ISIL. The character is portrayed as a moe-style girl.

MyDD

MyDD was the first large collaborative politically progressive American politics blog. It was established by Jerome Armstrong in 2001. Its name was originally short for "My Due Diligence." In 2005, MyDD was profiled in Campaigns and Elections magazine, crediting the site with being "the first major liberal blog." In January 2006, the name was changed to "My Direct Democracy" as part of a site redesign, with the new tagline "Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics."

Operation Clambake

Operation Clambake, also referred to by its domain name, xenu.net, is a website and Norway-based non-profit organization, launched in 1996, founded by Andreas Heldal-Lund, that publishes criticism of the Church of Scientology. It is owned and maintained by Andreas Heldal-Lund, who has stated that he supports the rights of all people to practice Scientology or any religion. Operation Clambake has referred to the Church of Scientology as "a vicious and dangerous cult that masquerades as a religion". The website includes texts of petitions, news articles, exposés, and primary source documents. The site has been ranked as high as the second spot in Google searches for the term "Scientology".The term for the organization refers both to a traditional clam bake, as well as the notion from L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology: A History of Man that humans follow a "genetic line" which includes clams, and that the psychological problems afflicting humans are impacted by past experiences. The domain name xenu.net is a reference to the character Xenu from secretive "OT III" Scientology documents.

In 1996, the site was one of the first locations on the internet to host secret Scientology documents pertaining to Xenu and OT III. Shortly thereafter, the Church of Scientology attempted to get this material removed from Operation Clambake and other internet sites, through letters written by counsel, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. After receiving a DMCA takedown notice, Google removed many Xenu.net pages from its indexes, which decreased the site's page rank in searches for "Scientology". This inspired Google to contribute to the Chilling Effects archive, informing others about material missing from Google indexes due to DMCA takedown notices and other legal threats.

Operation Clambake has been consulted by news media organizations and other groups for information on Scientology and related organizations. Dateline NBC cited the organization in a 1998 investigative journalism piece, as have other publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Associated Press. During the Spring 2002 semester, Xenu.net was included as required reading in a New York University course on "Copyright and Censorship", and in 2003 webmaster Andreas Heldal-Lund received the 2003 Leipzig Human Rights Award by the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the US, an organization opposed to the Church of Scientology.

Outline of Google

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Google:

Google – American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products that include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware.

Persian Gulf naming dispute

The Persian Gulf naming dispute is concerned with the name of the body of water known historically and internationally as the Persian Gulf (Persian: خلیج فارس‎), after the land of Persia (the traditional name of Iran). This name has become contested by some Arab countries since the 1960s in connection with the emergence of pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism, resulting in the invention of the toponym "Arabian Gulf" (Arabic: الخليج العربي‎) (used in some Arab countries), "the Gulf" and other alternatives such as the "Gulf of Basra", as it was known during the Ottoman rule of the region.

Political Google bombs in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election

During the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Google bombs were used to further various political agendas. Two of the first were the "miserable failure" Google bomb linked to George W. Bush's White House biography and the "waffles" Google bomb linked to John Kerry's website. Supporters and detractors of the candidates were able to manipulate search engine rankings so that searches for "miserable failure" and "waffles" returned links to the targets' sites.In 2006, Google altered its searching algorithm to make massive link farms less effective, making search results less politically slanted.In January 2009, President Barack Obama's official White House web site also appeared on the first few results for "miserable failure" on Live Search and Yahoo, and on the first page of results for the word "failure" on Google. The cause of this is disputed, with some claiming it to be the result of a similar campaign.Others believe it to be a result of URL redirection from the old White House site (under President Bush) to the site for President Barack Obama. Because the HTTP301 redirect indicates that the old page is permanently replaced by the new one, it also inherits all links to it and therefore the ranking for the same keywords.

SEO contest

A SEO contest is a prize-awarding activity which challenges search engine optimization (SEO) practitioners to achieve high ranking under major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN using certain keyword(s). This type of contest is controversial because it often leads to massive amounts of link spamming as participants try to boost the rankings of their pages by any means available.

The organizing body of a SEO competition may hold the activity without promotion of a product or service in mind; or they may organize a contest in order to market something on the Internet. Participants can showcase their skills and potentially discover and share new techniques for promoting websites.

Scientology and the Internet

There are a number of disputes concerning the Church of Scientology's attempts to suppress material critical of Scientology on the Internet, utilizing various methods – primarily lawsuits and legal threats, as well as front organizations. In late 1994, the Church of Scientology began using various legal tactics to stop distribution of unpublished documents written by L. Ron Hubbard. The Church of Scientology is often accused of barratry through the filing of SLAPP suits. The official church response is that its litigious nature is solely to protect its copyrighted works and the unpublished status of certain documents.

Various critics of the Church of Scientology have characterized the organization as a confidence scam and claim that these secretive writings are proof, or allege that they contain evidence that the Church of Scientology's medical practices are illegal and fraudulent. Scientology has been convicted of fraud in the courts of several nations, although not those of the United States. Others have claimed that the Church of Scientology is abusing copyright law by launching lawsuits against outspoken critics.

Spam blog

A spam blog, also known as an auto blog or the neologism splog, is a blog which the author uses to promote affiliated websites, to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites or to simply sell links/ads.

The purpose of a splog can be to increase the PageRank or backlink portfolio of affiliate websites, to artificially inflate paid ad impressions from visitors (see made for AdSense or MFA-blogs), and/or use the blog as a link outlet to sell links or get new sites indexed. Spam blogs are usually a type of scraper site, where content is often either inauthentic text or merely stolen (see blog scraping) from other websites. These blogs usually contain a high number of links to sites associated with the splog creator which are often disreputable or otherwise useless websites.

There is frequent confusion between the terms "splog" and "spam in blogs". Splogs are blogs where the articles are fake, and are only created for search engine spamming. To spam in blogs, conversely, is to include random comments on the blogs of innocent bystanders, in which spammers take advantage of a site's ability to allow visitors to post comments that may include links. In fact, one of the earliest uses of the term "splog" referred to the latter.This is used often in conjunction with other spamming techniques, including spings.

Twitter bomb

The term twitter bomb or tweet bomb (also spelled as one word) refers to posting numerous (pejoratively, "spamming") Tweets with the same hashtags and other similar content, including @messages, from multiple accounts, with the goal of advertising a certain meme, usually by filling people's Tweet feeds with the same message, and making it a "trending topic" on Twitter. This may be done by individual users, fake accounts, or both.

William Napoli

William M. "Bill" Napoli (born June 17, 1948) is a former Republican state Senator in the South Dakota State Legislature, representing the 35th State Senate district. He retired in 2008.

On March 20, 2008, Napoli announced he will not seek reelection and instead will retire from politics.

In the Rapid City Journal Senator Napoli has stated that he will run for governor "if his supporters ask him to."

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