A Quick, Technical Post to Help Our Friends the Jews

July 20, 2004 | 8 comments
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I first noticed through Eric Stone’s blog that some website owners are now setting up links intended to influence search engines in a particular positive way:

Previously, the top search engine result for the word Jew was an anti-Semitic site. This unfortunate result was due to search engine technology, which uses algorithms that count the number of links from web sites based on the word searched for (see explanation). Because search engines use these algorithms, results can be changed if enough site owners create links to different targets. (Indeed, results for searches for “Jew” are already changing; I checked today, and the anti-Semitic site had fallen to #2).

Here at Times and Seasons, we want to do our part to help combat hatred of the Jews. I consider many Jewish people to be friends. So we’re throwing the weight of our own humble little Pagerank-6 site behind the deserving movement to make searches for Jew go somewhere other than to an anti-Semitic site. And we encourage others who have web sites to do the same, to help fight the corrosive hatred directed at Jews. (How do you do this? Simple enough — put up links that use Jew or Jews as the linking text, and that go to an innocuous site; for best results, a popular innocuous site like Wikipedia. Just as I’ve done throughout this post.)

8 Responses to A Quick, Technical Post to Help Our Friends the Jews

  1. D. Fletcher on July 20, 2004 at 11:57 am

    I have often been mistaken for Jewish, which I consider the highest form of praise and flattery (since cultural Jews from New York City became the greatest American songwriters — Berlin, Rodgers, Hart, Hammerstein, Lerner, Arlen, Sondheim — only Cole Porter was a WASP from Indiana).

    P.S. I don’t know how to do the linking, though.

  2. D. Fletcher on July 20, 2004 at 12:00 pm

    I left out the Gershwins from my list. I have been told a number of times that I resemble Ira Gershwin (short, with Bolshevik glasses, etc.)

  3. danithew on July 20, 2004 at 12:02 pm

    Wump Blog will do what it can to help. Sometime today I’ll get the post up. I did the google search and saw exactly what you were talking about. That #2 site (that will not be named) must fall!

  4. Frank McIntyre on July 20, 2004 at 12:02 pm

    Kaimi,

    It may help to concentrate the linking on the word “Jew” not “Jews”. “Jews” as a Google search doesn’t bring up the anti-semite site unless one considers “Jews for Jesus” to be antisemitic– which would seem odd …

  5. Frank McIntyre on July 20, 2004 at 12:11 pm

    Here’s some background info on the issue from google. It turns out that “Jew” was actually a rare search until people started publicizing this particular issue.

    “Someone searching for information on Jewish people would be more likely to enter terms like “Judaism,” “Jewish people,” or “Jews” than the single word “Jew.” In fact, prior to this incident, the word “Jew” only appeared about once in every 10 million search queries. Now it’s likely that the great majority of searches on Google for “Jew” are by people who have heard about this issue and want to see the results for themselves.”

  6. danithew on July 20, 2004 at 12:22 pm

    It appears there’s more than one anti-Semitic site showing up near the top on the google-search for “Jew.” One of the sites apparently is promoting/publishing an anti-semitic book written by Henry Ford. At least that’s what it appears to be.

    Right below this is a Jewish dating service link. So I’d suggest adding that, as a suggestion to all the Times and Seasons single Jewish readers. :) Here’s the link:

    http://www.singlejew.com/

  7. Jordan Fowles on July 20, 2004 at 7:22 pm

    I just did my part on my blog as well. Notice that that site keeps falling, falling, falling!

  8. Samuel Muska on July 22, 2004 at 8:55 am

    Oddly I was doing a search on the subject of hatred for Ken Jennings, and your site’s tagline included the commentary ‘help our friends the Jews’ in the Dogpile preview so I had to go look.

    I’ve been Jewish my whole life, my fiancee is converting and it has helped me get more in touch with my religion.

    I am always weirded out by anti-semitism, I don’t understand why anyone would be motivated to hate my people. It’s like hating Canada. I have respect for all major religions, and don’t understand why others can’t as well.

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