December 24, 2005

Google Mocks Christ on Christmas Eve

While trying to find a nativity image for my last post before Christmas, I did an search for "baby jesus" on Google.

This is the result.

Notice that the top search result is for a sex toy that mocks Jesus.

Other results on this search results page have more link traffic. A quick review of page's code shows no HTML meta information that should give it a favorable ranking. The page itself has a raw relevance ranking (search word divided by total words) of less than five percent. The only conclusion I can draw is that this page position ranking was done manually by a Google staffer.

Google's message to the Faithful seems obvious:

"Merry Christmas, assholes."

Update: Some folks have made the argument that this is the result of Googlebombing or other SEO tricks. Others say that it is merely the result of Google's search programs. They would absolve Google of all responsibility.

I do not.

Google's algorithms are man-made, coded by human programmers, as are any exclusionary protocols. These people ultimately decide if search results are relevant. I think it is fair to say that a butt plug is not a relevant search result for 99-percent of Google users searching for information on Jesus Christ as a baby.

So either Google has manipulative coders, or a fouled algorithm in their baseline technologies that suggests their massive capitalization is based upon a a house of cards. I'll leave individual readers and investors to make the call.

Update 2: Crooks and Liars calls this post 2005's Worst Post of the Year. Coming from such a den of delusion and paranoia (not to mention abject political failure), I consider it a compliment.

Also, I guess he didn't see this, though technically it isn't a blog post, just the worst idea of the year.

Good Friday Update: As I said previously:

Google's algorithms are man-made, coded by human programmers, as are any exclusionary protocols. These people ultimately decide if search results are relevant.

A current Google search reveals that Google has changed their search algorithm to exclude the sex toy site from at least their top 50 results in a unfiltered search. I was right, liberals were wrong.

Not that this comes as a shock to anyone...

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 24, 2005 12:06 PM | TrackBack

Incredible. And, yes, it seems quite intentional.

It if they say it was a "mistake," be certain that error would never happen for Muhammed.

Posted by: California Conservative at December 24, 2005 12:36 PM

Google must die

google jew.............that'll knock your socks off

Yeah yeah, I know they have no agenda but they run adsfor hamas and hizbollah but refuse LGF
status as a news source

Posted by: Pamela at December 24, 2005 01:28 PM

Assuming you didn't Photoshop that as some kind of a joke, it's not showing the same results now.

Posted by: Eric at December 24, 2005 02:50 PM

Every knee shall bow.

Posted by: Juliette at December 24, 2005 03:59 PM

I got the same result.

Damn Google!

Google Delenda est!

Posted by: robert at December 24, 2005 05:14 PM

I just did it and the baby Jesus butt plug is at the top of the list.

Posted by: andrei at December 24, 2005 05:32 PM

I don't know what Eric typed, I got the same results.

Posted by: Rodney at December 24, 2005 05:33 PM

Good grief. Merry Christmas, Google, indeed. Bad enough that the Christmas Eve logo is a cat and mouse playing with a plug ("doin' the electrocution shuffle..."). That's just breathtaking.

Posted by: The Random Yak at December 24, 2005 07:37 PM

While I agree that Google is more than biased, and I too searched "baby Jesus" and got the same results. But if you want images, it's safe to go here and search for "baby Jesus".

Merry Christmas everybody.

Posted by: theputz at December 24, 2005 08:41 PM

The enemies of the truth are getting crazier and bolder every day. Come Lord Jesus.

Posted by: Shoprat at December 24, 2005 09:33 PM

It's 10:00 PM Christmas Eve here in Oklahoma, and I get the same search result. Disgusting.

I wonder what Google will pull next Ramadan season? Oh, wait -- Islam is a religion of peace. Never mind.

Posted by: Mike at December 24, 2005 11:04 PM

Other results on this search results page have more link traffic.

I'd be curious to know how you actually know that; and, therefore, can objectively conclude that it's not a Googlebomb. I was referred here by Wizbang, and someone there suggested that it has indeed been linked to a lot lately, just to tick off people like us.

Posted by: mcg at December 25, 2005 12:15 AM

At the bottom of the search page is a link that says, "Dissatisfied? Help us improve"
Hopefully enough people will take the time to comment to Google as well as commenting here!

Posted by: prying1 at December 25, 2005 12:17 AM

Why are you looking for images on Google's web search page? If you did the same serch on Google's images search page, you will get what you are looking for.

Posted by: Lew Al at December 25, 2005 01:43 AM

If you turn on "strict filtering" under the preferences tab, it will take away any of the porn-type links like this. Why are you searching with SafeSearch turned off? Do you often search for porn and need to have it off? Turn it on (strict filtering) and there is no problem.

The only reason you would need to have SafeSearch off is to look for porn.

Posted by: Joe at December 25, 2005 01:49 AM

Try Googling "Failure" see what is the top result!

Posted by: Ty at December 25, 2005 02:10 AM

I'm disappointed that the top link wasn't a picture of Sean Hannity.

Posted by: Jethro at December 25, 2005 05:44 AM

I just got the same result with my search. Doesn't google put advertisers at the top of their searches?

Posted by: The Ugly American at December 25, 2005 11:25 AM

Well, Google is an algorithm thingy. Maybe the problem is not Google but the statistical center of mass of its users.

Posted by: George at December 25, 2005 11:34 AM

Come on people. Google is totally algorithm-based. The algorithm strongly favors links that point to a given site-- therefore as many sites point to the one in question, it raises the google ranking. When intentional and malicious, you can call this "googlebombing."

But to suggest that a google staffer had a role to play in this is just silly. Why on earth do you think a public company would blatantly risk its reputation in this way?

Posted by: jake at December 25, 2005 01:00 PM

Your conclusion is incorrect. Google bears no fault here, and the harsh sentiments expressed in this thread reveal more about the speakers than the subject.

Google provides an algorithm, a way of matching any search term against the world's webpages. They do not manually put an offensive link at the top of a results list.

But there's a whole industry of consultants trying to match those algorithms, to get good placements for the clients sites in each of the main search engines. The search engines respond and change their algorithm to disqualify the cheaters. The SEO consultants adjust their tactics in turn, and so on.

Don't blame Google, Yahoo or Microsoft for the offensive cheaters in the world -- the search engines only reveal that such people exist, they do not create them.

For more info, try doing a web search on "google bombing" or "seo myths". There are more productive ways to spend our time than introducing such divisive controversies as "Google Mocks Christ".

Posted by: a reader at December 25, 2005 01:19 PM

The comment by Joe at 1:49 am nailed the difference between my search and the rest of those commenting that they are getting the same results. The reason I didn't get those results is that I had set my preferences to "strict filtering" which is my preferred method of using Google. I tested it, and sure enough I see what others are seeing. Now, back to "strict filtering" for me! :-)

Also, as a side note, I think that the default is not "strict filter" so just because someone got those results doesn't mean they had turned it off, but rather had never found the need to turn it on, so Joe's comment is a bit harsh.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all. And happy Google bombing next Christmas. ;-)


Posted by: Eric at December 25, 2005 09:33 PM

Well, I e-mailed google....we'll see what they say.

Posted by: DixieDarlin' at December 25, 2005 09:40 PM

Right on, Google. I love those guys. Hey, if you type in "failure" and hit "i feel lucky" you will have a little chuckle. Also, type in "Santorum" and hit "I feel lucky." I love Google.

Posted by: FOM at December 25, 2005 09:43 PM

Re: "yes, it seems quite intentional". Well, yes, an intentional effort by PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF GOOGLE to game the system. Unlike traditional full-text search, things like "keyword density" plays a modest role in getting the top hit on Google. As others have noted, do a little research on "googlebomb". I would guess this result is fairly recent, and will disappear. Google removes or penalizes sites that try to game the system not that are offensive. A search for "jew" is a good example. As a previous commenter noted, "failure" is another one -- the top 2 matches clearly can't be explained by "keyword density" or metatags or such.

And, no I don't for Google; I just don't like to see people fall for conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality. (I suppose it's possible that a rogue employee tweaked the result; I have no idea how easy that would be -- but I'll bet it's cause for being fired immediately, offensive or not.)

Posted by: Scott Lawton at December 25, 2005 09:56 PM

U neocon idiots really need to get a life! Btw, last I heard, there never was a Jesus. It's all made up to fool non-thinking idiots like u! Go get yourselves some lives. Better still some loofahs a la the Christmas Wars General, Bill O'reilly and Fox Lies News!!!!

Posted by: neoconsareidiots at December 26, 2005 09:42 AM

Sadly, this post has become infested with liberals, and the peculiar, hate-filled,logic-free thought that the "liberal elite" bring to us country folks.

Some have BDS advanced enough that they've somehow blamed this on Bush and the neocons. Halliburton, it seems, would be next on their list of cliched talking points.

Since they can't converse like adults, I'm locking this thread.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at December 26, 2005 12:15 PM