Bombs keep falling: Google Trends got hit

Thu 8 January 2009 09:50, Bas van den Beld

There was a time when we could all laugh about the ‘miserable failure’ until Google put a stop to it. But wait, is it really finished? No it’s not. Yes, Google put a stop to the ‘Google Bomb’ but yesterday Danny Sullivan pointed out Yahoo and Microsoft didn’t.

A search for ‘miserable failure’ on those two search engines still shows Bush as the number 1 result. This because of redirects. And according to Sullivan Obama could inherit the problem.

Meanwhile though Google faced another kind of bomb, which probably won’t get as much laughs as the ‘miserable failure’-one. The Daily Telegraph found out that a symbol, representing an airplane flying into the Twin Towers went ‘hot’ in Google Trends.

Bombs keep falling: Google Trends got hit

The symbol showed up because of so called ‘trolls’. Users who deliberately want to offend others. On the forum 4chan users encouraged each other to do a search using the computer code for the symbol. This resulted in a second position in Google Trends. The result wasn’t there for very long though, because it got so popular this quick, Google classed it as ‘Volcanic’ and removed it.

In the New York Times Google said: “Hot Trends is automatically generated by algorithms and machines that are there to detect hot or breaking queries. We saw lots of queries from a number of different places in a short period of time”.

Not really a Google bomb, but a manmade –bomb. Though one I’m guessing won’t be thought of as ‘funny’ by a lot of people.

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