Google Blogoscoped

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Googling Word Variations

The Keyword Variation Checker is a tool I wrote using the Google Web API. It will go through all kinds of variations of a given keyword and google the result. All that was needed is a little text-file with possible endings for a word from a free dictionary I found online. For example, the word is “Googl”, then I append “ology”, “ist”, “y”, and so on. You can see the result example for “Googl-” and “Googlo-”.

Some interesting words with existings sites found by the tool are:

Some variatons on “Microsoft” which appear online:

Or “Internet”:


This tool will take over 300 Google Web API requests, so it’s not really opened for public use at the moment.

Egobot Explains Google

You ask: Who is google?
Egobot says: Google is not a search company
You ask: How is google searching?
Egobot says: Google searching is particularly well
You ask: What is my pagerank?
Egobot says: Your pagerank is to get lots of links to your website
You ask: How can I increase my pagerank?
Egobot says: Sorry, that’s too private to answer
You ask: What is the birthday of google?
Egobot says: Google was born out of the womb of a garage and into the real world of million dollar investments
You ask: What is the definition of google?
Egobot says: Let me think about that
You ask: What is the secret behind google?
Egobot says: Why’s everybody asking that?
You ask: Who is googlebot?
Egobot says: Googlebot is back
You ask: What is the best search engine?
Egobot says: The best search engine is www
You ask: How is google different?
Egobot says: What??
You ask: What is googlebombing?
Egobot says: Googlebombing is explained much more in depth at this link, and, quite frankly, is something worth abusing
You ask: What is a linkfarm?
Egobot says: A linkfarm is an artificial sites-construct to boost the pagerank, and get more visitors
You ask: What is cloaking?
Egobot says: Cloaking is and isn’t
You ask: What is google labs?
Egobot says: Google labs is sort of the experimental arm of the internet’s best search engine
You ask: What is the birthplace of google?
Egobot says: Google was born in the heady days of the internet bubble, but google has never behaved like a typical internet company or a typical web search engine
You ask: What is your opinion of google?
Egobot says: I have no idea
You ask: Why are you not answering?
Egobot says: I am not answering because i have any practical advice, but to let you know, i too feel like that
You ask: Why do you talk nonsense?
Egobot says: *grin*”
Egobot, September 21, 2003

Everything Egobot answers, he found somewhere on the ’Net using the Google Web API.

Ruin a Competitor’s Ranking?

Straight from the Google Inc. Fact & Fiction page (emphasis mine):

Fiction: A competitor can ruin a site’s ranking somehow or have another site removed from Google’s index.
 Fact: There is almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. Your rank and your inclusion are dependent on factors under your control as a webmaster, including content choices and site design.”
– Google Inc., Fact & Fiction

What’s slightly disturbing to anyone caring about their site’s positioning is the use of the term “almost” in above: if there’s almost nothing others can do to hurt your ranking, then there’s some things they can do to do so. So what could that be?

SafeSearch + Googlebomb Risk?

[Google Bomb]

When Google passes judgement on a page, it heavily relies on links towards that page. This means if a hundred pages decide to link to page X using the word Y, then in Googlebot’s eyes (and that of many visitors), X is about Y. And most of the time, this makes sense. Except when it comes to the approach of Googlebombing:

“In a bizarre surreal bow to the power of perception on the web, what you say about a page becomes just as important as the actual content of the page”
– Adam Mathes, Google Bombing, April 6, 2001

E.g. there was a time when typing “dumb mother******” into Google would bring one onto a page with information on George W. Bush. “Talentless Hack” was the original Google bomb by Adam Mathes, a prank directed at a friend. “French military victories” is another more recent example.

Above abuses of the Google algorithm are all funny examples, but they point to a possible weakness in the system; Google’s SafeSearch. Let’s say a lot of pages point to page X using a naughty term. There’s two possibilities for Google now. Either, those terms are ignored; then it decreases its algorithm’s value. Or, it attaches those keywords to the page X... then page X will be found when looking for the naughty term. This in itself is not so bad (even though it might add confusion) – what is bad is that page X might now be blocked by a possible SafeSearch filter. Because then, a competitor could set up many links on websites that would have Google attach x-rated terms towards a competitors site, nevermind if the site is indeed coming anywhere close to this subject.


Now with LinkFarming, I think Google already should be keeping it safe for everyone. I can imagine that if one puts up a linkfarm that intentionally tries to get banned, and at the same time links to a competitors site, Google will not ban the competitors site as well. Because it doesn’t contain backlinks to the linkfarm. (However, I’m wondering if such shady links to one’s site could increase the site’s chance to receive the Google death penalty.)

Cloaking & Redirecting?

What about setting up dummy pages? They might contain a lot of hidden keywords, and other spammy things, and they would do nothing but link to a competitor’s page. Or include the page in a frameset. Or go the way of automated redirects. Would Google be smart enough to differentiate cloaker from cloakee?


Let’s hope Google’s safe enough so that it’s impossible for anyone to figure out how to hurt another site’s ranking. Or else, we would see people doing Anti-SEO; the dark art of Search Engine Pessimization.

Google Germany Finds More

I was just looking for the word “trabbish” and realized Google Deutschland ( found 7 hits, while Google USA ( just found 2. (I used the word “trabbish” in a recent post as a Google test-case.)
Next, I was looking for “memoreyes”, and had 10, while had just 9 results (both had a Flash file in their result, by the way, but it was surely the file-name Google picked up, and not the word “memoreyes” contained within it).
Then I tried “sminy”. 82 results for, and 114 for I tried other words too (yes, even existing ones – but it’s hard to test if the page count approximation is accurate).

The result count was independent of filtering mode. So it seems to me Google Germany finds more than Google USA, and not just that – I also compared the SERP count with Google France (, and again it was lower (the same like the US-version).

My (very unscientific) conclusion for the time being: Google Germany finds more.

Processing Exhibition

The Processing programming language homepage* showcases interactive software art.

[Colorful Shapes in Algorithmic Motion]

“Processing is a context for exploring the emerging conceptual space enabled by electronic media. It is an environment for learning the fundamentals of computer programming within the context of the electronic arts and it is an electronic sketchbook for developing ideas.”
Processing (Alpha Release)

*Link via Kevin Davis, Zombie Simulator (via the Googleplex worker who parses HTML subliminally, Kevin Fox** [via] )

**And if someone behind your back is dancing, then that’s Stealth Disco. Turn up the volume and view the “Best of”.

Googlebot in the Shower

[Google 2020]

The Robot Exclusion Protocol (February 23, 2002, by Paul Ford) is a short short-story about the Googlebot of the future*. If you want to know any more details, please read it, and go through the rest of the interesting FTrain site (or, as Germans are always eager to point out, don’t ask me why things are as they are... I just work here).

* “Hi! I’m from Google. I’m a Googlebot! I will not kill you."


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!