Google bombing for Fun and Social Justice

So apparently, has recently shot themselves in the foot.

Specifically, they’ve taken to removing sales rank from books that are deemed to have a gay or lesbian theme. This means, among other things, that books with a gay or lesbian theme won’t come up in certain kinds of searches and don’t appear in lists or pages of popular books regardless of their popularity.

Amazon’s given a number of explanations for this behavior, each of which has been contradictory. Their explanations have been all over the map; at first they claimed that “adult” books aren’t ranked or listed by popularity (which is, as any user of Amazon knows, manifestly untrue); more recently, theyre calling it an unintentional “software glitch”. They’ve sent emails to some of the authors of the books that have had their rankings removed, which have likewise been all over the map.

Since the street finds its own uses for things, one of the ways that annoyed Net users have retaliated is with a good old-fashioned Google bomb. A Google bomb raises the Google keyword result for a specific keyword (in this case, “Amazon rank”) by placing links using those keywords all over the place.

So, in the spirit of using Google as a blunt instrument for social change (as former Google engineer Christophe Bisciglia said of MapReduce, “When you have a really big hammer, everything becomes a nail”), I present to you:

Amazon Rank

Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): amazon ranked
1. To censor and exclude on the basis of adult content in literature (except for Playboy, Penthouse, dogfighting and graphic novels depicting incest orgies).
2. To make changes based on inconsistent applications of standards, logic and common sense.