A kind of fun article, from an academic perspective, Deconstructing Google bombs: A breach of symbolic power or just a goofy prank is a paper by a doctoral student which looks at google bombing.
One online marketing approach is to try to find words and phrases to use on your pages that you believe your customers will likely use to find your site while using a search engine, and that you expect they will want to see on those pages, and incorporate those words into your pages.
While that is fine and good, you can also find out some interesting things about the folks you believe are your competitors by looking at the words that they may have decided to focus upon within their pages.
If you want to play along at home, here is a method to use to explore whom you think you are competing with, and whom you really are competing with, when you target certain keywords.
1. Take three sites that you think are your online competitors
Keepgoing.org has a great history of one of the first great web sites – the online Mad Magazine of its time. In The Big Fish, they take a look at Suck.com, ten years after its launch.
I came to the party late, and didn’t learn about suck.com until it had closed its doors, and stopped publishing. But this story is a great one, and there are probably a lot of lessons here to be learned by anyone interested in putting a web site online.
Promotion in the days before search engines made it big? Here’s how suck.com got the word out:
Anuff collected every magazine he could locate, at the Wired offices and at home, until he had a stack of perhaps 200, which he combed through, writing down every email address he found. “Every published email address of any journalist period ended up on this master list, and we spammed them all when we launched.” After that, there was little else to do except watch the server traffic, and wait.