A Googlebombing Suggestion aka India hits back


Yeah, so reams have been written about how unfair Proctor was, how unfair the entire treatment of the Indian cricket team was, how Symonds deserves to be kicked…

On another blog about this entire thing, one commenter had suggested that we googlebomb Andrew Symonds.

For the uninitiated, Googlebombing is an attempt to influence the ranking of a given page in results returned by Google.

Now as we all know, Google’s PageRank algorithm works such that a page with a larger number of links from other pages leading to it is a higher-ranked search result. And Google also makes use of the words in the link in other pages to determine how/where to index the linked page.

That translates roughly to this: If a sizeable number of us with blogs/webpages link up Symonds’ profile on Cricinfo, with the word Crybaby [the link leads to the profile], in the link, good chances are that googling for crybaby would lead to the page on Cricinfo.

A good example of a precedent would be googling for “failure” or “miserable failure” and finding Bush’s page as the top result, or googling for “more evil than Satan himself” and the top result being the Microsoft homepage.

I’m not giving a jingoistic speech to induce people to do this, but heck, it doesn’t take too much to do, most bloggers have ranted on the unfairness already, and all they’ll have to do is edit a reference to Symonds with the word Crybaby and link that word to the Cricinfo page. And more people will definitely blog about the ongoing series in the near future; all they’ll have to do is have one reference to the page.

It isn’t totally unethical; Google doesn’t condemn googlebombing as such – Marissa Mayer, Google Director of Consumer Web Products says on the official Google blog:

“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.”

I’m not wanting to claim any fame as the principal instigator of all this, and frankly, while I think it’s fun to do, I’m not yet sure of my moral position on this. If in case people take up this idea of their own volition, if enough people think of it as a good-enough idea to combat the biased Australian media, or are convinced that this is the pinnacle of Indian self-expression, and the ultimate Indian attack, the advantage of our long-criticized high population.. <insert any other justification you might find>, it’ll be something that’ll go down the pages of history…. maybe in small print, but still will. It would be something people would take notice of. Definitely more than just an enormous number of blogposts. And in my opinion, this might just unite and bond the Indian blogosphere.
Having said that, if at all enough people say they would take it up, this can be a good place to start for discussing and finalizing a page and a keyword. My suggestion has been Crybaby and a link to the Cricinfo profile of Andrew Symonds: http://content-www.cricinfo.com/australia/content/player/7702.html

If we do decide to do this, we might as well do it well, and to do that we need to be united in our efforts. And we need to work fast; the euphoria about the series will soon flag unless some controversy erupts in the following two Tests, and we soon won’t have the justification that this would boost the morale of our Men In Blue by showing them the Indian blogging community is with them on this.

If you think this is unethical, do comment here with your reasons. If you think this is a great idea, do comment here with your reasons. I simply think of this as an idea, with nothing inherently good or bad about it.

Comment here with your suggestions on keyword. Let it not be anything racist, but just mildly demeaning – a googlebomb merely creates an unsettling flutter, and the last thing we (and our Men in Blue) want is to be labelled a racist nation. The only one I can think of is “crybaby”. I think my suggestion for page to be linked is fine…. if you have any views on that, do comment.

Oh, and if and when it’s finally decided to go ahead with this idea, please make the keyword integrate with your post… like it’s part of a sentence, like it naturally has its place there – for example “The Men in Blue are too cool to be fazed by cheats and a simpering crybaby“. Google gives it more value that way.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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23 Responses to A Googlebombing Suggestion aka India hits back

  1. ish says:

    Neat idea lol, Will do it if I make a post about the entire thing. Do you think it’ll help if I put crybaby somewhere in my sidebar amongst a sentence or does it have to within a post?

  2. wanderlust says:

    Wait for a couple of days… when we might be able to see a good-enough suggestion for the keyword.

  3. wanderlust says:

    it’s always better to put it in a post relevant to symonds, the series, india, australia, etc.

  4. Abhishek says:

    Nice idea… but why stop at crybaby.
    Technically is it possible to influence the “Did you mean” section of google results.I would love to see a search for the word “monkey” turn up, “Did you mean Andrew Symonds?”. If there is a feasible way, I’d like to contribute, and as wanderlust rightly mentions, “I simply think of this as an idea, with nothing inherently good or bad about it”. Wicked isn’t it…

    Monkey is not a racist comment. It never was. Andrew symonds is an awesome player. But off-late he seems to be in the team for his looks, if you get what I mean….

  5. wanderlust says:

    hmm… i dont know how the “did you mean” works, though it would only be a matter of time to get that sort of a result once we get to understand how.
    we can googlebomb symonds for monkey, too. it would be much harder, considering the usage frequency of “monkey” when compared to “crybaby”…. but then there are more bloggers in India than there are people in australia πŸ˜›

  6. Ruhi says:

    Nice post Wanderlust. I’m not sure if I’ll every do a post on Cricket…am not really passionate about the game anymore. I came to know about this incident after reading some blogs. But Googlebombing seems to be a neat idea and might come into help sometime in the future. πŸ™‚

  7. ish says:

    I believe the “Are you Searching” for thing is based on the similarity of the word you are searching for. If you search for “GREENDAY”, it will ask you if you are searching for “Green Day” because the words are similar but “Green Day” is used more often. There’s nothing common in Symonds and monkey, don’t know how we’ll be able to make that happen.

  8. Abhishek says:

    @ish : True, Did you mean, is something similar to a dictionary, and if you’ve made a mistake entering your search string, or there is a more ” popular alternative” to the string that you’ve entered. First one ruled out. There might be a slight chance by the 2nd method. Some google research needed, I guess. I’ll google it up..

    @The author:- More bloggers in India than people in australia? Interesting.On the spot statistics generation eh?… But you’d probably need some high-frequency blog/site to start the honours , I guess. Total no. of links is not so important.

    Come to think of it, I’ve a wicked-er idea. Take a standard image of a monkey. circulate it amongst fellow bloggers. Put the alt text, and related caption etc as andrew symonds. with some random “monkey”s thrown in. Google image bomb…

  9. Arjun says:

    Man, you guys have a lot of time.

  10. wanderlust says:

    @ruhi:
    future?! we need to get this act in place NOW!
    @ish:
    it’s not unmanipulatable… if we know how it works, we can try fiddling with it.
    @abhishek:
    that’s just in a manner of speaking… i have no official stats. i guess that’s obvious.
    I wouldn’t say total number of links is *not* important, though pages with a higher pagerank are infinitely more preferable.
    it’s not going to be as hard to get a monkey pic to turn up on top for “andrew symonds”. but it isn’t as “kewl” in my opinion.
    Why don’t we imagebomb andrew symonds’ image for “monkey”? that’s a better option.

  11. wanderlust says:

    @ruhi:
    future?! we need to get this act in place NOW!
    @ish:
    it’s not unmanipulatable… if we know how it works, we can try fiddling with it.
    @abhishek:
    that’s just in a manner of speaking… i have no official stats. i guess that’s obvious.
    I wouldn’t say total number of links is *not* important, though pages with a higher pagerank are infinitely more preferable.
    it’s not going to be as hard to get a monkey pic to turn up on top for “andrew symonds”. but it isn’t as “kewl” in my opinion.
    Why don’t we imagebomb andrew symonds’ image for “monkey”? that’s a better option.
    @arjun:
    final year engineering πŸ™‚

  12. ish says:

    Imagebombing Andrew’s image for a monkey might end up being tougher that doing it the other way, don’t you think? But yea, this will be way more fun!

  13. Gaurav says:

    While all this might actually be fun to try and motivate a significant amount of people to do because you need quite a few people to pull this off, what will be the ultimate point of this?

  14. Gaurav says:

    Other than sending a LOT of traffic Cricinfo’s way of course!

  15. wanderlust says:

    just for kicks.
    cheap thrill.
    a couple of months down the line you can send an email fwd saying
    Go to google.com. Type monkey in the search bar. Click on I’m Feeling Lucky. Which page does it lead to?
    time and situation seems right for something like this – lots of posts, lots of angst, lots of jokes, lots of black humour. Who knows if we can possibly get such a chance again – we can’t possibly do this for something more serious, like if bin laden personally assassinates musharraf… no one would be interested in the least. Anything less serious isn’t worth googlebombing.
    You also have readymade keywords.

    why do people climb mount everest?

  16. Gaurav says:

    I guess .. but like the good book says “different strokes for different folks!”

  17. dee says:

    haha!!

    pri, you’ve come u with a smasher this time round. this is some constructive utlization of your final year. i’m proud of you my dear!
    and whoever suggested that ‘did you mean’ thing, okay @abhishek,attaboy!

  18. Abhishek says:

    @priya:- I disagree.It is easier to get “andrew symonds” return a monkey image rather than “monkey” return an Andrew symonds image. Guess why.
    Monkeys are more “popular” online/offline than Andrew symonds. I wonder why he took it as an insult.

    “Did you mean” is still tough. But I’ll keep searching… This is worth monkeying around…Plus final year anyway…

  19. wanderlust says:

    @dee:
    proud, uh? you made my day πŸ™‚
    @abhishek:
    isn’t that precisely what i said? i guess my “better option” was ambiguous… it’s a better option coz it’s much cooler… i mean, it wouldn’t be as much fun to get a pic of Satan if you google for Microsoft, would it?
    “did you mean” is quite a challenge.. but then we are engineers.

  20. There are 16 tags to this post alone!
    Why do people climb Mount Everest?

  21. vishfulwords says:

    Interesting idea this… Googlebombing Andrew Symonds is definitely worth a shot! But maybe we should just change the keyword from ‘crybaby’ to ‘cheat’
    ‘crybaby’ is reserved for the Holy captain of the Mighty Australian team, oh yeah you guessed it, none other than Punter Ponting himself!

    Two Googlebombs yes, and hopefully just as effective as two bombs dropped on two twin cities almost 63 years ago πŸ™‚

  22. wanderlust says:

    @monkey, the spunky one. Ooh:
    there are just too many players in this controversy.
    some wise man said people climb the everest “because it’s there”. as far as i’m concerned, it’s a cheap thrill… justified to everyone else with some reason like “i wanted to prove to myself i could”, or “the view is good”.
    @vishwas:
    gets better…. πŸ™‚
    i like the analogy.

  23. Pingback: Socially, Politically, Technically irrelevant post « The NITK Numbskulls Page

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