is the ballymascanlon hotel in receivership? no…

google design

But computer says yes… Up until a few years ago, ‘Google Bombing’ was a relatively easy and quick way of manipulating search results. It required a group of people with a web presence (or willing to to a bit of link building work) to link to a certain term using certain keywords. The most famous is probably the George Bush / Failure Google Bomb… today it’s back, in disguise…

ballymascanlon hotel receivership?

The Ballymascanlon Hotel are suing Google over their search results because this shows up with Googles auto complete feature turned on;

ballymascanlon hotel receivership

They say it impacts on sales and give the example of wedding couples who’ve planned weddings for years ahead, worrying about deposits (naturally enough) if there are concerns about the hotel going in to receivership.

The Cause

As has been pointed out by this thread on google’s webmaster forum (in which someone representing the hotel asks google for help), it would appear that the cause of this modern day Google Bomb is this web page; a site designed specifically to  fool google in to thinking it’s a legitimate page, with legitimate content. It’s obviously not and has been designed specifically to have a bit of fun or perhaps by competitors or angry guests, who knows… (i’ve highlighted the instances of ‘Ballymascanlon Hotel Receivership’ in the source code below)

hotel receivership seo

From a date in the source code on the site, it would suggest it first sprung up in late May of this year and obviously someone has been working their SEO magic on it since then and doing a good job too if it’s showing up in auto complete.

Typical Google

As usual, no response from Google despite three solicitors letters from the hotel. They only responded when they get the letter saying they were being taken to court. That’s typical. Their support is probably the worst in the world because it’s non existent, unless of course you’re an adwords customer, (which involves giving them money) in which case you actually get a phone number to call…

So it’s a good day for the Ballymascanlon Hotel, even though they may not realise it yet, bad day for Google because it highlights a potential new loophole in their search algorithms which can be exploited just like Google Bombs.

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