Is George W. Bush a miserable failure? SEO vs. Bush

Jan. 29, 2007 Update: This no longer works now that Google has corrected its algorithm so that a search term must be contained on the page that is ranking. Read more in my blog post. - Shell

That may be up for debate but Google's results page seems to think so. If you do a search on Google for the term "miserable failure" the Biography of President George W. Bush is first in the results. How does this happen? The answer illustrates a good point about website content and linking. (Google results for miserable failure)

The Power of Link Building

The Bush bio does not include the words “miserable failure” anywhere so Google is not picking up that term on the page and saying, “this term occurs so often on this page that I will rank it highly for that term.” This trick has to do with the text used in the links pointing to the Bush bio page. When determining the popularity of a keyword, Google utilizes many criteria including the contents of the web page and what words are used to link to that page.

Here is an example of how these links are set up. Visit this page: Rappid Rabbit Now, look at the bottom of the page and you'll find the text: “Here's a link to a miserable failure.” This link points to the Bush site

This example shows, when requesting links from link partners don't request they just use your site's name or "click here", include your keywords instead. This will help your site rank higher in the search engine results for your keywords.

The trick is possible because Google searches more than just the contents of web pages - it also counts how often a site is linked to, and with what words. When such a tactic is taken to a large scale, as in this case, is is called Googlebombing.

Weblogger Adam Mathes is credited with inventing the practice in 2001, when he used it to link the phrase "talentless hack" to a friend's website.

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