Just as everyone recovering from the New Year party, SEO Boook and SearchEngineLand uncovered a not so proud beginning for Google this year. Google has found to be either directly or indirectly paid to get the link juice violating its own SEO policy for Google Chrome. To keep the Google search results clean, Google does not like paid links with spammy content that exists just for the sake of boosting pagerank. However, in promoting Google’s Chrome through paid posts to write reviews about Chrome, Google ended up flouting its own rules.
Caught red handed by SEOBook and SearchEngineLand, Google accepted the findings and said Google meant only to buy online ads to SearchEngineLand. In a statement to SearchEngineLand, Google said at first
Google never agreed to anything more than online ads. We have consistently avoided paid sponsorships, including paying bloggers to promote our products, because these kind of promotions are not transparent or in the best interests of users. We’re now looking at what changes we need to make to ensure that this never happens again.
And later in another statement to SearchEngineLand, Google said it has reduced the PageRank of Google Chrome. So if you search for “browser” now, you won’t see Google Chrome now. SearchEngineLand also reports Google Chrome comes up only in the fifth page of search results. However, it is not clear, for how long this demotion will hold for Chrome. Here is the Google’s statement on reducing the Pagerank of Google Chrome.
We’ve investigated and are taking manual action to demote www.google.com/chrome and lower the site’s PageRank for a period of at least 60 days. We strive to enforce Google’s webmaster guidelines consistently in order to provide better search results for users. While Google did not authorize this campaign, and we can find no remaining violations of our webmaster guidelines, we believe Google should be held to a higher standard, so we have taken stricter action than we would against a typical site.