Saturday 24 Oct 2020 | 23:13 | SYDNEY
Saturday 24 Oct 2020 | 23:13 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Googling Rudd


Sam Roggeveen


29 October 2010 16:18

David Reid writes:

I think you misunderstand the reason why Google gives this result for Kevin Rudd. It is to do with people linking to the site with the words "Kevin Rudd" in the hyperlink. A lot of people would have done this while Kevin Rudd was the Prime Minister. This has a major influence on search results. If you want to understand this better look up Google bomb on Wikipedia. While the case of Kevin Rudd is not the result of intentional Google bombing, the underlying cause is the same.

The Prime Minister's Office should certainly improve the title of its website, but it won't necessarily change the results returned by a Google search for Kevin Rudd.

If I understand this correctly, what David means is that, when Rudd was PM, his office would have created thousands of separate pages on the PM's site which contained 'Kevin Rudd' in the URL. The fact that a lot of users clicked on those links means that this search return remains high in Google's list. That means the result should gradually slip down Google's list over time.

But if that's right, and it's Google's search algorithms to blame rather than an oversight in the PM's office, how come I get this return when I do a search for 'Prime Minister of Australia'' (Thanks again to Danielle for pointing this out.)