Monday, November 06, 2006

More on Google Bombs in the News

NYT runs an article a little more attuned to the Google Bomb phenomenom than their last one a few days ago.  It's amusing to see the paper try to follow Google's approved uses of its name when it says right right at the start that "some Web gurus have suggested [it's] perhaps better called a link bomb, in that it affects most search engines."  Gurus?  Anyway, the article actually does give a good description of the problems associated with Google Bombs while pointing out that people are having trouble handling the  perceived authority of search results:
We also take much at face value. In results released last year, the Nielsen Norman Group, which surveys Internet behavior, found that fewer than 1 percent of searchers avail themselves of the advanced search options available on most search engines. And the Pew Internet and American Life Project found last year that while most consumers can distinguish between regular programming and infomercials on TV, and between regular content and advertorials in print publications, only 38 percent of searchers were aware of a distinction between paid and unpaid results among search returns.
The article also sends readers off to to view its very public campaign to Google Bomb Republicans running in this election.  By the way, when did the NYT start providing real links to other sites?  This is great.

Lastly, the article links to an article from First Monday by Clifford Tatum, which breaks down the makeup of the sites that comprise a Google Bomb and uses the language of Alberto Melucci, social movements and collective action scholar, to describe them as social movements and online protests, such as the "media mind bombs" of Greenpeace's Bob Hunter.
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