Bush loses 'failure' and 'miserable failure' in Google


Did Something change with the weight of external links? It appears that Bush lost 'Miserable Failure' as well as 'Failure' and 'miserable' in Google... Neilson caught this one...




But it's not 100% change.. because Tony Blair is still #1 for Liar





...he's still my #1 on all accounts LOL.

Were you "signed in" (as in: getting personalised results) when you did those searches?

Not signed in...

Nope not signed in... getting screen shots...


he's gone on my listings and I'm not logged in or using personalized settings


Jimmy Carter and Michael Moore still show up...

Oh wait, i think i found something. The page used to be https://www.whitehouse.gov/president/gwbbio.html i believe, well that page now redirects to this: http://www.whitehouse.gov/president. This could explain a temporary change in ranks.

Also, i saw a scary security warning thing when i went to click on the first link from Google results... tracking crap? or just a secure certificate warning?

shame... Google adds a googlebombing failure explanation

I know at least dozen of SEOs that use that exact cases every day for link-juice explanations.

But - Google adds (that's what I get) a sponsored top with:

Why these results?
www.google.com/googleblog These results may seem politically slanted. Here's what happened.

linked to a Marissa Mayer's post on google blog:

Googlebombing 'failure'

9/16/2005 12:54:00 PM
Posted by Marissa Mayer, Director of Consumer Web Products

If you do a Google search on the word [failure] or the phrase [miserable failure], the top result is currently the White House’s official biographical page for President Bush. We've received some complaints recently from users who assume that this reflects a political bias on our part. I'd like to explain how these results come up in order to allay these concerns.

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. Pranks like this may be distracting to some, but they don't affect the overall quality of our search service, whose objectivity, as always, remains the core of our mission.

In short, they agree...

...and like the example.

Hmmm,but the fact that we're seeing different serps may be due to:
- some update (yawn)
- geotargetting (I'm searching from Holland)
- something I can't fathom (......nah)

I'm sure that something got "tweaked" for US searchers. All automated (i.e not manual) of course ;)

French Military Victories

Screen Shot now updated

@MattKP : that was a 3rd

@MattKP : that was a 3rd party cookie warning from the webtrends analytics tool they have installed on there. I sent them an email from my government email address to let them know.

What CTR might those "sponsored" disclaimer ads

achieve? And would they permit AdWords competition for those terms? :-)

Still getting the old results from here in Belgium.

This is definately down

This is definately down to

the meta refresh and G's better understanding of them since BD implementation. Also nice opportune advert in the Adwords from Red Brick Media imho

Look to the Whitehouse...

Look to the Whitehouse and not to google on this one.

Looks to me like the folks at the Whitehouse finaly got tired of their guy being listed in the top five for that query and hired a good Webmaster/SEO to take care of things.

I may be wrong, but it looks like this last data push (and maybe a removal request) cleared the old pages out of the index.

The only whitehouse.gov page I see now for that query is the bio of Jimmy Carter. You know Bush has to love that...

Shady Republicans

Please correct me where I am wrong but this is what I see...

If you check the headers on https://www.whitehouse.gov/president/gwbbio.html or http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/gwbbio.html they do not return a 301 redirect. Which, I would assume, is advisable for whoever is maintaining the page - kill the old page and its history, rebuild anew (sounds like republican policy anyway).

But when you do the header check, a 200 is returned. Now the only reason I know to do such a thing is as a CS friendly, algo work around. Meaning, all users who have the old page bookmarked (because they like P.Bush) will get the new page and not an error or empty page (if they had just scrubbed the old page).
Likewise, when a crawler comes through they will return a 200 and eat up the content (under the new URL mind you). The only downfall here is a bit of dup. content - but I would assume that will the amount of authority whitehouse.gov has, this won't be an issue.
Lastly (and most important) is the fact that this method of page movement will KILL all INBOUND links to that page. The page is not redirecting properly and thus the history will not redirect.
Ergo - these guys are shady AND getting the best of both worlds.

Please do correct me where I am wrong but this is my assessment of the situation.


...are you still getting Bush on #1 too?

Yeah, How does that make

Yeah, How does that make them "shady" ?

I can list lots of things I don't like about them. However moving a web page without a 301 doesn't really rank up there on my list of immoral things people do.


I am not a Bush fan, as a matter of fact I agree with Hugo Chavez, I think he's the Devil, but I have to agree with webprofessor here.

Fair is Fair, what the Whitehouse has done is no different, in my opinon, than what a LOT of people did when they linked to Bush's bio with that anchor text in the first place.

daltonroad, I think your correct.


Wit: Still getting them as before. Not that I mind the message, heh.

Now it's on

over here as well.

I smell a hand-tweak...

They cleaned up George Bush and Bill Clinton but left Jimmy Carter and Michael Moore. I'm just having a little trouble swallowing this. I could believe that new link filtering might have dropped a lot of sites' links from the mix, but why leave Carter and Moore?

At least get all the victims of the abuse out of the SERPs, guys.

It's definitely moving...

2nd link still points directly to Bush. The others are taken over by the BBC.

Oo-er. Live flux LOL.

Agree with MM that this thing looks too random (or biased) to be a manual fix. So unless we are supposed to think that, it could be a Bush counter-strike like lots0 et al described.


<meta HTTP-EQUIV=Refresh CONTENT="0; URL=http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/">

<title>Please go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/</title>
<body bgcolor="#ffffff">

<script src="/js/stat.js" language="javascript" type="text/javascript"></script>

<img alt="" border="0" name="DCSIMG" width="1" height="1" src="http://statse.webtrendslive.com/DCSArO55rNH8I36lrbe6wexE5_5B8I/njs.gif?dcsuri=/nojavascript&amp;WT.js=No"/>


back at /president/

The first few searches I did the whitehouse link was gone, now its back at:

Was the old ranking URL www.whitehouse.gov/president/gwbbio.html? If so, what's happening makes sense, the rank was just pushed to the URL from the meta-refresh.


Right, they changed the old URL to a new one.

I hope we could lay off the political comments here... us republicans are sensitive. lol

Looks like it's on purpose...

Just surprised it didn't happen earlier. I thought they might have used the url removal tool,
since the page isn't cached anymore, but to their credit, if they did then they set things back to hide it afterwards. The url itself isn't blocked at this time in robots.txt, which I believe you would normally have to do to get it removed.

Also looks like it might not work, since it's already reverted to the new addy on most dc's. Which does mean that Google is now transferring link pop via meta-refresh... that's new, isn't it?

I see the new page

I see the new page www.whitehouse.gov/president/ at #1 for miserable failure


Does look like the meta refresh is passing PR.
I am showing, whitehouse.gov/president, the new/current Bush Bio page has a PR9.

That was fast, I guess that must be one of the benefits of a PR9.

I can't find the old GWB Bio page in the index. I think it would be safe to assume that it was removed, as we all know old pages do not just disappear from googles index all by themselves, at least this quickly.

If the Whitehouse did do this to remove GWB's listing from the top spot for [miserable failure] and it sure looks that way to me. I think it is safe to say that this effort, like many other recent Whitehouse efforts, did not work out as expected...

How about this...

I was curious about serps for these "failure" queries, and I've found something imho even more exciting than "failures" not ranking anymore :).

First some background - I live in Poland, we have here our own local google bombs. One of them is targeted against Polish president - for query [ptasia grypa]. In English it means "bird flu". Second bomb is against vice prime minister, for query [kretyn] - in English it would be "dork" :).

Effect which I got on a serp was that for query [failure] Google suggested me to check these two mentioned Polish bombs. Screenshot available here. Anyone with a theory why :)) ?


Kocham Polsk?

My theory... Because they are all "political google bombs" and google wants everyone to know that they(google) are non-political, so they group these results together and go into some detail to explain why these results display the way they do.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.