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Google bomb links Obama profile with 'failure'

January 23, 2009 |  4:33 pm

On his way out, President Bush unintentionally dropped a bomb on President Obama: a "Google bomb."

Nuclear bomb

Along with an economic crisis and a host of national challenges, Obama inherited a link to an embarrassing Google term, as reported our friends at the Times Technology blog. Remember that prank the blogosphere pulled on Bush a few years ago that skyrocketed the former president's White House profile page to the top spot for a Google search for "miserable failure?"

From the Tech post:

As Search Engine Land points out, a search for "failure" on Google delivers "President Barack Obama" as the top result, linking to the biography page. And if you search Yahoo for "miserable failure," Obama's bio page comes in No. 2. Just behind George W. Bush's.

This is more amusing than it is significant, of course. The Google bombs wired to the White House website have been in place for years, and all that really changed were the names attached to the site.

A Google spokesperson had this to say: "By improving our analysis of the link structure of the Web, Google has begun minimizing the impact of many Google bombs. Of course, no system is bulletproof, and we're working every day to make our systems even better."

While Google doesn't manually edit search results, it regularly tweaks the algorithm that powers the search engine, which could eliminate such O-bombs.

-- Mark Milian

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Illustration: No nukes / Credit: