The phrase “Google bombing” refers to the practice of creating a large number of links that cause web pages to have a high ranking for searches on unrelated keyword searches, often for comedic purposes.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently became a victim to a mass Google bomb; or so it would seem. A Google Image search for the phrase “completely wrong” on Wednesday revealed almost an entire page full of images of the Republican presidential candidate.
A Google spokesperson said that the phrase’s image search results are simply an unintentional result of normal Google analytics and not the result of any efforts to skew voting results. Google analytics produce images that are associated with popular phrases in news headlines.
Google’s algorithms picked up on news coverage of Romney saying last week that he was “completely wrong” when he responded to controversial statements he made saying 47% of Americans were completely dependent on the government.
He responded to these controversial statements last Thursday on Fox News:
“Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right,” Romney said, “In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong.”
News outlets had used numerous photos of Romney while reporting on his “completely wrong” statement. Now the two are associated as far as the computers are concerned.
Many Twitter users, including comedian Rob Delaney, who is known to poke fun at Romney on Twitter, made note of these search results Wednesday.
Romney’s Google bomb is hardly the worst that a politician has faced; however, it does appear to be quite similar to the George W. Bush Google Bomb in which a search for “miserable failure” returned George W. Bush’s official White House biography as the top result.
The Google results page of Romney photos was noticed Wednesday by tech blog Mashable and other news sites.
Google says it tries not to handle strange search results on case-by-case, instead opting for making improvements to the search algorithms themselves.
By: Taylor Chobanian