10 Google Bombs That Will Live in Infamy

Stephanie Buck

What does it mean to "Google bomb" something -- or someone? For starters, a Google bomb isn't as sudden and life-threatening as it sounds. Some of these bombs can actually take months to execute.

And there are several kinds of Google bomb. The most well-known tactic involves linking a specific term to a specific site as many times as possible all over the Internet. For instance, say you had a completely irrational hatred for man sandals (true story), and you were making it your life's mission to tarnish the "mandal" industry. You would link the phrase "Mandals are ogre shoes" to a site like Urban Dictionary's definition for mandals. And you would copy/paste the heck out of that linked phrase -- all over the web.

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Soon, presumably, you would have associated the definition of mandals with the term "ogre shoes" so many times that a Google search for "ogre shoes" would bring up the Urban Dictionary mandal page in search results. (Fun fact: A current search for the phrase "ogre shoes" brings up about 2 million results. Go figure.)

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Google bombs were originally known as "search engine bombs" before Google became the ubiquitous, default term for online search. That should signify that these "bombs" have been around for quite some time, the first dating back to 1999.

They've been used in political campaigns to associate a negative word or phrase with certain politicians. They've even been employed to accompany Internet memes like Chuck Norris. Some Google bombs are still active, despite the fact that Google usually takes measures to remove the forced search results.

We've found 10 infamous Google bombs that have taken advantage of search results for decades now. Let us know whether you think all's fair in love and war -- or whether these web pranks deserve repercussions.

1. Rick Santorum

After former senator Rick Santorum made a series of anti-homosexual comments in 2003, sex columnist Dan Savage held an online contest that encouraged his readers to define the term "santorum." He created the website santorum.com, which still houses the sexually explicit definition. Needless to say, the site ranked high in Google search results for "Rick Santorum." SEE ALSO: Dear Rick Santorum: 6 Ways to Fix Your Google Problem Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Eustress

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This story originally published on Mashable here.