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Nicolas Sarkozy falls victim to 'Google bomb' attack

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has fallen victim to a "Google bomb" attack on the web.

Thousands of bloggers are believed to have linked "trou du cul" - a crude French anatomical phrase - to Mr Sarkozy's Facebook page, meaning it appeared first in Google's search results for the term.

The trick was spotted this morning, but by lunchtime the Facebook profile had disappeared from search results for the slang words.

It was not immediately clear whether the page had been manually removed by Google.

This is the second time the French president has fallen victim to a Google bomb attack. Last June, he was targeted in a similar way by online activists for his tough stance on illegal file sharers.

A Google bomb is a collective effort to make a particular website rank first in Google when a specific search term is used. This usually involves a large number of people linking the search term to the site to trick Google bots into linking the two.

The first Google bomb was in 1999 when the search term "more evil than satan himself" linked to the Microsoft homepage.

The British Labour politician Hazel Blears was also a victim of a Google bomb attack in 2008, when a search for her name in Google led to a mock-up 1950s movie poster of the politician in a skimpy outfit.

In 2005 the word "liar" put Tony Blair's page top of Google search results and in 2003 "miserable failure" put former US president George W Bush's official biography in the top spot.

The French president has lost popularity recently. Yesterday, two million people in France threatened to strike over Sarkozy's pension reforms which would see the pension age in France rise from 60 to 62 years-old.

There is also anger at Sarkozy's crackdown on Roma and his drive to dismantle illegal camps and expel ethnic gipsies to their native Bulgaria and Romania.

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