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article imageGoogle algorithm glitch means repairman ranks higher than itself

By James Walker     Jun 3, 2015 in Technology
Observant Internet users have noticed that an Egyptian electrician has inexplicably managed to appear at the top of the search results page when typing "Google" into Google. The interesting part is that nobody knows how.
Digital Spy reports how the gaping glitch in Google's relevance algorithm has led to Saber El-Toony becoming an Internet sensation after users noticed his page appeared at the top of Google's results for itself. As a consequence, his Google+ page now has over 3.5 million views.
The amusing erroneous result was noticed by Eyad Nour, founder of BlogStart and a digital marketer. He published his find on his Medium blog. He explains how he initially thought the listing on Google's Egypt site was personalized to his interests until the same thing happened when browsing in Google Chrome's Incognito mode when not signed into Google. The listing also appeared when searching Google in the mobile version.
An Egyptian tradeperson managed to outrank Google on its own search listing as an algorithm acted st...
An Egyptian tradeperson managed to outrank Google on its own search listing as an algorithm acted strangely
Eyad Nour
Nour contacted El-Toony and found that he had no idea of the fame he had achieved on Google. He explained that the Google+ page had been created back in 2009. It is used infrequently by El-Toony and hosts pictures of the various appliances he can fix.
SEO experts have struggled to explain why the page appeared so high on Google. The only reason appears to be that the humble electrician had entered a link to a Google search for his Twitter handle into the website URL field on his Google+ profile.
An Egyptian tradeperson managed to outrank Google on its own search listing as an algorithm acted st...
An Egyptian tradeperson managed to outrank Google on its own search listing as an algorithm acted strangely
Eyad Nour
Oliver Ewbank of SEO firm Koozai told the BBC: "Google Plus profiles tend to rank well in search results, but never on this scale. The main link between this listing and the keyword Google is the fact that Mr El-Toony entered a Google Search for his Twitter handle in the website URL field. This Google URL field seems to have caused the search engine to think the profile is a relevant search result."
How that led to him ranking above Google on search results for itself is a baffling mystery. Nour says that "Google" should be the hardest keyword to rank for, writing: "Nobody should be able to outrank Google for their own name on their own search engine. It is like the only thing that holds "the matrix" from falling apart. At least for SEOs."
Follow-up posts by Nour later suggested that the result was caused by an "experimental algorithm", according to a Twitter user who contacted him and who claims to work at Google. Previously, another explanation had been provided by an anonymous user who found that a link to El-Toony's Google+ page included the attribute 'rel="contributor-to"' which was set to "google.com", implying that the search engine may have ranked the repairman so highly because it appeared as though he contributed to Google, according to his Google+ page.
The story has since gone viral across the world, generating some exceptional publicity for the repairman. Google has yet to respond to the listing but it is certain to be investigating this rather obvious failing of its relevancy rating algorithm.
More about Google, Search, Results, Repair, Man
 
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