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Israeli PM Gets The Google Bomb

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2007-01-15

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Prime Minister Ehud Ohmert learned that the benevolence of Google can rapidly sour if one's critics emulate their politically charged American counterparts and tag one's name with a less-than-flattering phrase.

Ohmert's younger critics took to the blogosphere to smear the Prime Minister's name through use of a tactic called the Google bomb. By linking the phrase 'kishalon charutz' to an online profile for Ohmert, a number of bloggers were able to make that a top result on Google.

Kishalon charutz means 'total failure' as noted in a story from the TotallyJewish.com website. They described the Googlebombing as a prank perpetrated by bloggers:

A 20 year-old blogger who did not particularly like the prime minister initiated the prank. He turned to hundreds of his blog's readers published on a popular Israeli blog site and asked them to add links to their sites through the words "complete failure" which would redirect the view to Olmert's sites.

A similar prank took place when opponents of President George W. Bush subjected him to the same treatment. Searching for 'miserable failure' on Google brings up the President's profile on the official White House website.

Google took a lot of criticism from Presidential allies over this. That led to Google placing a OneBox result linked to a statement from company VP and director of consumer web products Marissa Mayer explaining Googlebombing to those critics.

Bush's fans in turn did the same thing to Senator John Kerry, when he was running against Bush for the presidency in 2004. People linked the word 'waffles' to the junior Senator from Massachusetts, and even today the top result for the word is Kerry's official website.

Many other Googlebombings of political figures have taken place. The Wikipedia entry about them shows their use in other countries.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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