Google has changed the rules on its search engine to protect President Obama from the same sort of mockery it allowed of President Bush.
For better or worse, Google's search engine has become the principal index for online information, giving the company tremendous opportunities to inflict bias on the nation's (and world's) information flow. Sadly, the company is demonstrating a willingness to slant leftward.
During the Bush Administration, Google did nothing to prevent manipulation of its search algorithms so that one typed in "miserable failure", articles about President Bush appeared. But now that The One is president, the company has stepped in to prevent this manipulation,
Steve Gilbert at Sweetness and Light has the story. Google, of course, spins it differently: Though the spirit of change may be in the air in Washington, some things apparently stay the same. Yes, the old online prank called "Googlebombing" returned for a brief while recently, when Google searches for the words words [failure] and [cheerful achievement] returned President Obama's biography as the top result. You may remember this issue from a few years ago, when the query [miserable failure] led to the biography of President Bush. For some reason, all those links pointing to the Bush bio were redirected to Obama's. Some people have asked in the past whether these results are a sign of political bias on Google's part, and we've explained that this isn't the case. Rather than edit these prank results by hand, we developed an algorithm a few years ago to detect Googlebombs. We tend not to run it all the time, because it takes some computing power to process our entire web index and because true Googlebombs are quite rare (we joke around the Googleplex that more articles have been written about Googlebombs than there are actual examples of Googlebombs). After we became aware of this latest Googlebomb, we re-ran our algorithm and it detected the Googlebomb for [cheerful achievement] as well as for [failure]. As a result, those search queries now return discussion about the Googlebombs rather than the original pages that were returned. Be sure check out search engine analyst Danny Sullivan's post from yesterday. He does a great job explaining the history behind this and how it all works.
This sort of naked bias cannot be explained away. The simple facts are exactly as S&L puts it:
Please note that it took a mere six and a half long years - and a couple of days after Mr. Obama was inaugurated - for Google to decide to "re-run" their "algorithm."