Google Punishes Itself Over Chrome Marketing Controversy

Yesterday we reported on the controversy surrounding Google for hiring an advertising agency to promote its Chrome browser, which broke Google’s own Terms of Service. Today, Google has announced that it has demoted itself for violating these rules.

The company agreed to lower the page ranking for Google Chrome for 60 days as punishment for taking part in the viral marketing campaign that saw more than 400 pages tagged with “This post is sponsored by Google.” The company acknowledged that the posts violate its paid link policy. A spokesperson for Google had this to say:

“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.”

While Google was never expected to blacklist its own browser from the search engine, it should be noted that often this is the penalty for sites that are caught engaging in paid links. I think it’s admirable that Google took the high road and instituted this punishment for breaking its own ToS, as it shows that even Google are not above their own rules.

[via Fox News]



  • Sumsense

    “High road” or premeditated strategy? It’s seems similar to a motion to strike when a judge instructs the jury to “disregard” the testimony — the ‘damage’ (marketing) still has its intended effect. A 60 day demotion is a small ‘penalty’ to pay for the ROI.