A Contest to Gain Top Rank by Google

21 mei 2004, 07:31

Nigritude ultramarine. If it sounds like gobbledygook, why does a Google search on the term return about 160,000 results?

An online ad company and a search-themed Web site are sponsoring a contest that shows how easy search results can be manipulated. The winners: sites that rank highest in Google searches on June 7 and July 7 for the “invented” term (actually a play on Dark Blue Sea Ltd., an Australian company that is a contest sponsor).

Web site owners try diligently to boost their placement in online search results. Clever types try to exploit the formulas that Google (www.google.com) and others use to rank sites, but the search engines often catch on and tweak their methodology.

In the current contest, entrants can try to boost their rankings by getting other sites to link to their “nigritude ultramarine” pages, or create sites that do so. They also must avoid running afoul of Google systems that penalize tactics such as linking from bogus pages. Google declined to comment.

As of yesterday, the top-ranked site included gibberish like “nigritude ultramarine mrunderhill.”



Marco Derksen
Partner bij Upstream

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