A recent post at ZDNet shows a screen shot from a Google Maps search for “Microsoft” displaying an unexpected image. The image depicted the windows logo with a slash through it.

How did this happen? Apparently Google automatically associated this image with Microsoft’s name using geographically targeted image processing. In this case a “Sara B” from Yelp.com had uploaded the image along with a review of the company. While likely unintentional, this could be a new form of “Google bombing” that could cause some serious problems.

The image has since been removed from the search, but one is left wondering where this may lead. If it is possible for Microsoft, what is stopping something like this from happening to other companies out there?

Danny Sullivan and Barry Schwartz provide a more detailed review of how this happened at Search Engine Land