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Search Engine Fun: Bush Still “Miserable Failure” on Yahoo, Ask

January 23rd, 2008

bush-miserable-failure.jpgWhile reading through an ebook on search engine optimization, I ran across a reference to the famous “link bomb” campaign that managed to get George W. Bush’s White House biography page listed at #1 in Google for the keyword “miserable failure”. In January 2007, Google made changes to its algorithm that caused this ranking to be dropped, and since then has generally filtered out or delayed the effect of large numbers of incoming links to a site, particularly in cases where such links are created within a relatively short period of time.

However, as the ebook author pointed out, Bush still ranks #1 for “miserable failure” at Yahoo. After running through some search queries earlier this morning, I confirmed that this is true as of this writing (screenshot images provided below the fold). Other miserable failures of note according to Yahoo:

  1. #4 Jimmy Carter
  2. #9 Michael Moore
  3. #11 Hillary Clinton
  4. #27 Abstinence Education (truthout.org article)
  5. #33 Alcohol Prohibition (cato.org article)
  6. #37 Democratic Party
  7. #46 Democratic Leadership Council
  8. #55 Chuck Schumer (New York Senator)
  9. #59 Al Franken
  10. #62 Republican National Committee (GOP.com)
  11. #82 Matt Blunt, Office of the Missouri Governor
  12. #86 Tom DeLay
  13. #89 John Kerry
  14. #91 John Kerry again (About page)
  15. #92 Al Gore
  16. #126 Sean Hannity
  17. #149 NFL Players
  18. #174 Conservative Party of Canada, Stephen Harper Biography
  19. #216 Chicago Cubs
  20. I searched as far down the 400th result, but did not find anything else that appeared to originate from intentional linking campaigns. Meanwhile, Bush is also #1 for “miserable failure” at Ask.com and #3 at MSN, listed just below the Wikipedia entry regarding political Google bombs. Here are some screenshots of the search results pages (for future comparison purposes, all of these were taken on the same day as this post, January 23, 2008).

    Bush on Yahoo:

    bush-failure-yahoo.jpg




    Bush at MSN:

    bush-failure-msn.jpg




    Bush at #1 on Ask. It may be somewhat difficult to read in the image, but note that “French Military Victories” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” appear under the related searches column on the left. These two phrases also appeared in the MSN related searches column above.

    bush-failure-ask.jpg




    As you might expect, I was quite pleased to see that most search engines still consider Bush a failure, although I probably would have ranked him at #3 behind “Adolf Hitler” and “Soviet Union”. Meanwhile, Bush still commands the #1 position at Yahoo for “worst president”, a title that he richly deserves. Now if we can just get Bill Clinton up to #1 for “I inhaled” and LP.org ranked higher for phrases like “good ideas”, perhaps we’ll finally make some progress towards getting this country pointed in the right direction. :)

    In case you’re wondering where the original Google bomb started, I seem to have found it at a site called Old Fashioned Patriot. The first call to start the link campaign is included in the entry for October 27, 2003. Surprisingly, there are only 28 comments on the post, the last of which notified the other authors that Google had made the algorithm tweaks. If their comment system will allow it, I might as well make it 29 and let them know I’m out here!


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