Link bombing still works. Even unintentionally.

29 Aug

Although Google stated that Googlebombing would become very difficult in the future, SERPs show still examples of pretty good results. Most of them are intentional, some are by accident.
The example below (thanks for the tip, Hamoedie ;) ) is a great example of an accidental, but very effective, link bomb.

The web design market is very competitive, even a phrase like “Open Source Web Design” shows 350 million results. Number one is oswd.org, like the screen shot below shows. With over 225k links, that isn’t a big surprise.

The first page is very relevant to the search query I used, so no comments here. The second page, however, starts with a really strange and very irrelevant listing: The Outdoor Women of South Dakota. In short, that’s the owsd.

The domain names Oswd.org and Owsd.org differ by no more than one letter, so some thing’s fishy. Let’s dig into the backlinks of the second site for a bit, there must be a reason why they’re ranking for “Open Source Web Design”.
Yahoo indicates that the Outdoor Women of South Dakota have collected a stunning sum of 135 backlinks. Several of these backlinks are located in the footer of websites like TheSnoopyPenguin.com, with the anchor text “Open Source Web Design”. In stead of linking to oswd.org, some websites accidentally linked to owsd.org. Apparently, a few typos are enough to let the website of the South Dakota Outdoor Women rank for (total irrelevant) web design related terms.

This not only shows that link bombing still works (I never thought it didn’t work anymore, btw), but it also proves that anchor text is really important (like we didn’t know that) and it also is an indication that footer links aren’t as worthless as some say they are (nice to see some proof again).

22 Responses to “Link bombing still works. Even unintentionally.”

  1. David August 31, 2007 at 4:01 am #

    Holy typo backlinks!

    *Jealous*

  2. Eric August 31, 2007 at 7:50 am #

    FAN-tastic!

  3. Tanner Christensen August 31, 2007 at 8:47 pm #

    Now if only somebody will mis-type a website that is easily confused with one of mine.

  4. Simon Heseltine September 1, 2007 at 4:58 am #

    Nice catch :)

  5. Zak Nicola-NobleSEO September 1, 2007 at 1:06 pm #

    I bet you were having a blast delving into that. One of my favorite things to do in SEO is play detective.

    Good find, great post.

    imho, Google.com may have made some changes to try to prevent Googlebombing for more targeted phrases, or hot topics, but they give so much weight to links that it would be near impossible to completely prevent such a thing from happening.

    I wonder how long it will take for Mr. Cutts and the team to clean up that serp.
    I’d be willing to bet it will have to be a manual edit.

    And a note to Open Source Web Design: ouch, that bites.

  6. Oleg September 1, 2007 at 2:12 pm #

    There was a test recently on a forum where a bunch of webmasters linked to a blog for the keyword “viagra” (or something very competetive) and ranked first page.

  7. Brian September 1, 2007 at 3:43 pm #

    This was a great find and very interesting for domainers as well. We’ve all heard of traffic from people mistyping URLs in their address bar, but typo backlinks to boost PR? Pretty sweet!

  8. Mikey September 1, 2007 at 6:38 pm #

    can someone email me to explain how to link bomb? newsletters@qualifiedimpressions.com

    thanks :)

  9. Wiep September 1, 2007 at 7:53 pm #

    @Simon: Thanks

    @Zak: That SERP might be cleaned up manually, but if Google has to edit each SERP that looks like this manually, they have to hire some extra people :)

    @Oleg: Did you mean something like this?

    @Mikey: Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_bombing ;)

  10. Gerben September 2, 2007 at 10:50 pm #

    Even in the dutch Search Engine world we know these kind of usage. Look at the top ten on “Zoekmachine Marketing”. 1 is overthere with few backlinks, recently started and i guess you know wich one i mean Wiep! ;-)

  11. Wholesale September 3, 2007 at 5:33 pm #

    Wow. Purchasing miss speelings of domain names may be worth while afterall.

  12. Preseo September 3, 2007 at 8:39 pm #

    I never believed this fairy tale “Google Bombing is over”. In fact it works still brilliant. However: Some keywords with fierce competition are under Google´s surveillance of course. For instance keywords concerning credit, assurance etc. No wonder – you can earn a bunch of money there… So you should be aware, no to use too much (!) bombs. Make a good link mix and the results are fabulous. ;-) Always ask yourself the question: how looks a natural link-growth alike? And the success will follow !

  13. microdesign webdesign September 6, 2007 at 4:37 pm #

    linkbombing rulez :D hahaha

  14. Bittenbydesign September 14, 2007 at 1:03 am #

    That shows you just how careful you have to be when generating your links with advertising…

    I wonder how much revenue was lost by the bad links?

    The free advertising must of driven a fair amount of traffic to the wrong site to get it ranked that high.

    I must agree, I would LOVE to have someone accidentally send all their traffic to my site.

  15. SEObiotics June 18, 2009 at 2:54 am #

    What will the Women’s website benefit from an outrageous amount of worthless traffic?… NOTHING.

    But with the knowledge you provided, hundreds of website owners can use this to their advantage to redirect the traffic to their relevant site.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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