Linkbaiting takes a hit with the fall of the Googlebomb

A certain Matt Cutts (I have a good feeling about him - I sense he'll go far in Google) over at Webmaster Central Blog has inscribed an epitaph to the Googlebomb.

Ryan Moulton and Kendra Carattini (I suspect we'll be seeing their names again) used some of their 20% time time to improve Google's algorithm, making it more robust to Googlebombing.

It seems that we're more likely to see results talking about the googlebomb rather than the googlebomb itself. I can see how this will work on the historic googlebombs but surely this will be trickier on any new attempt? It also looks as if the algorithm looks for related content to the Googlebomb attempt. The editorial opinion patent is coming into play here. This is a patent application which describes how an editorial opinion could influence the SERPs. This tweak looks like a practical use of the idea.

This will effect linkbaiting and widget promotion too. It's pretty easy to make sure that a widget has some search benefit too - just include an HTML element as well as the standard JavaScript. The catch now is that that HTML element will be the same all over the web. A wide number of blogs linking to your target site with the same anchor text due to your clever use of a widget will have a similar footprint as a googlebomb. The main difference in this example is that the Googlebomb links will tend to be contextual whereas the widget won't be.

Linkbaiting often has a similar footprint to a Googlebomb. If I titled a post Lisa Barone is Bruce Clay and published a cunning dossier of photoshopped evidence, if the linkbait works, then a host of search blogs would be linking to me with the Lisa Barone is Bruce Clay shocker anchor text but this new algorithm tweak may thwart me. Blogs writing about my sly linkbait attempt would win, especially if Google saw them as a favoured source.


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