Google, as many other search engines, does not simply rank pages according to the actual match of key words. Instead they count the number of links from other websites to a certain source. The greater the number of links, the higher is the source’s place on the list of the search results. Any time a user presses the “I’m feeling lucky” button, he is directly taken to the webpage with the highest ranking for the keywords entered.
Advanced internet users have repeatedly exploited the system to link completely unrelated websites to popular search phrases. Or in other words, they have created Google bombs.
The first Google bomb was created by Adam Mathes- a blogger who linked the phrase “talentless hack” with the blog of his friend and competitor Andy Pressman. The most famous bomb belongs to a Torontonian student, who made a Google search results like website that users were taken to when searching for a phrase “French military victories”. The page read “Your search – French military victories – did not match any documents. Did you mean: French military defeats?”
Google bombs were used for political reasons as well. For example, in 2008 a search for a word “liar” on Google was most likely to return Tony Blair’s official website atop of the ranking list. Similarly, the search for a phrase “miserable failure” was leading to the President Bush’s biography during the time he ran for second term.
Google has made several modifications to its ranking system to prevent future bombs being deployed on the web. However, the damage has already been done and a lot of inconvenience caused to some prominent people.