Google search for 'Vatican' yields pedophile site

July 19, 2010: 2:55 PM ET

A likely Google Bomb leaves Europeans wondering if a hacker is making a statement.

Internet users over the weekend were delivered to an empty site called pedofilo.com when doing a search for "Vatican." Pedofilo is the Italian world for pedophile.  As the AP states:

The Vatican is battling allegations of abuse by paedophile priests and allegations of high-level cover-ups in several European countries, after similar scandals swept Australia and the United States in 2004.

What's interesting is that this 'hack' has all of the hallmarks of a politically-motivated  Google Bombing.

A spokesman for Google Italy, Simona Panseri, told ANSA it was not clear if this was a result of hacking. "I cannot confirm if it is an attack because I have not had any more precise information from the US engineers to understand the nature of the problem," he told the agency.

A Google (GOOG) bombing is a concerted effort by a number of  users to link a phrase with an unflattering site on the Web.  For instance, one of the most popular Google bombings was 'miserable failure,' which linked to the the biography of former U.S. president George W. Bush.  The first reported Google bombing took place in 1999 when a search for "more evil than Satan himself" resulted in the Microsoft homepage as the top result.

Some of these Google bombs are humorous.  Some are quite offensive.  I won't classify this one. (via Gizmodo)

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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