When is a Miserable Failure not?

I’ve seen a few, right leaning blogs complain about the fact that the first web site to show up on a Google search for failure is President Bush’s Whitehouse biography. Some people think this proves that Google’s searches are hand mangled to advance some left-wing ideas.

Google themselves explain why this isn’t the case.

Google's search results are generated by computer programs that rank web pages in large part by examining the number and relative popularity of the sites that link to them. By using a practice called googlebombing, however, determined pranksters can occasionally produce odd results. In this case, a number of webmasters use the phrases [failure] and [miserable failure] to describe and link to President Bush's website, thus pushing it to the top of searches for those phrases. We don't condone the practice of googlebombing, or any other action that seeks to affect the integrity of our search results, but we're also reluctant to alter our results by hand in order to prevent such items from showing up.

Which I totally agree with. By letting the system do what the system does, Google cannot be held accountable for manipulating results, even if they had the best intentions in doing so.

Do the executives at Google find it funny? Who knows? According to what little I’ve read about the company, they do lean leftward and might find it humorous. But they’re not intentionally putting it there, so the point is moot.

posted by by Robb Allen @
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