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First Iranian Googlebombing

In 2001, Adam Mathes coined the term "Google bombing" and explained how the ranking of a given site in search results returned by Google can be influenced: Due to the way that Google's algorithm works, a website will be ranked higher if the sites that link to that page all use consistent text. Links & Law has reported about Googlebombing in the past. At the end of last year the search for "miserable fuilure" brought up  the biography of the president on the White House website, see Update 12).


This month the first Iranian blogopshere's Google bombing has been successfull. Thanks to efforts by thousands of Iranian bloggers, the search for "arabian gulf" resulted in the following search result:


"The Gulf You Are Looking For Does Not Exist. Try Persian Gulf.

The gulf you are looking for is unavailable. No body of water by that name has ever existed. The correct name is Persian Gulf, which always has been, and will always remain, Persian."


The googlebombing was done because of National Geographic's recently published Eighth Edition Atlas of the World. In the atlas both a primary name, "Persian Gulf", and an alternative secondary name, (Arabian Gulf), is used for the body of water situated between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula. Iran insists on calling the waters the "Persian Gulf" and banned National Geographic reporters and sales of the magazine until it corrects the atlas. National Geographic reacted  with a press release about the issue.



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