Political Googlebombing

While giving a Blogdex demo today I was startled by the fact that the third site listed was the Wikipedia entry for Jew. After looking at the citations I realized that its position in Blogdex is only a side-effect of a much larger movement to readjust the PageRank for an injustice in the current Google results, namely that a horribly anti-Semetic website maintains the top position for the query.

This strikes me as a fascinating use of the Googlebomb. I’ve known PageRank to be used in jokes, hoaxes and for advertising, but this is the first example I’ve come across where the goal is to correct what most would consider an act of discrimination captured by Google’s index.

I’m sure that most people would agree that hate speech does not deserve top results for common words, and webloggers will adjust the statistics and impart justice on Google’s index. But what happens in the case where a debate is more hotly contested? Take abortion for instance. The first four results are unbiased representations of the debate while the fifth is the leading website for the pro-choice movement. Pro-life ranks in at number 10.

To me this implies one of two things: that the authors on the web are generally more liberal than conservative or that PageRank is skewed towards the left end of the political spectrum. I wouldn’t be surprised if this sort of political Googlebombing becomes a more regular part of weblogging, adding to the set of identity tools already incorperated into most blogs (blogrolls, link lists, etc.). Add one more list to the sidebar: political words I endorse.

10 thoughts on “Political Googlebombing

  1. To me this implies one of two things: that the authors on the web are generally more liberal than conservative or that PageRank is skewed towards the left end of the political spectrum.

    Then how did the number 2 through 5 entries for “miserable failure” get to be what they are? I conjectured this morning on my blog that had the bloggers on the right not behaved like Democrats, but chose one of the alternatives, they might have overtaken Duh-bya for the top spot.

    A more troubling question is, how did the anti-semitic site get to be number one in the first place? Just how many anti-semites are out there?

  2. Non anti-semites are more likely to use the phrase “jewish person” rather than “jew” (and to be less obsessed about the subject in general, linking it less).

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