I’ve just read this at just gone midnight on the 26th of October 2006, I read the article I am link to about 10 minutes before making my entry in my blog. [the timing has gone weird on my blog!]
The link is here
But I’m going to copy a bit of text so you can get the gist of it if the New York Times end up pulling the article from the public domain.
October 26, 2006
A New Campaign Tactic: Manipulating Google Data
By TOM ZELLER Jr.
If things go as planned for liberal bloggers in the next few weeks, searching Google for â€œJon Kyl,â€ the Republican senator from Arizona now running for re-election, will produce high among the returns a link to an April 13 article from The Phoenix New Times, an alternative weekly.
Mr. Kyl “has spent his time in Washington kowtowing to the Bush administration and the radical right,â€ the article suggests, “very often to the detriment of Arizonans.â€
Searching Google for “Peter King,â€ the Republican congressman from Long Island, would bring up a link to a Newsday article headlined “King Endorses Ethnic Profiling.â€
Fifty or so other Republican candidates have also been made targets in a sophisticated “Google bombingâ€ campaign intended to game the search engineâ€™s ranking algorithms. By flooding the Web with references to the candidates and repeatedly cross-linking to specific articles and sites on the Web, it is possible to take advantage of Googleâ€™s formula and force those articles to the top of the list of search results.
The project was originally aimed at 70 Republican candidates but was scaled back to roughly 50 because Chris Bowers, who conceived it, thought some of the negative articles too partisan.
The articles to be used “had to come from news sources that would be widely trusted in the given district,â€ said Mr. Bowers, a contributor at MyDD.com (Direct Democracy), a liberal group blog. “We wanted actual news reports so it would be clear that we werenâ€™t making anything up.â€