For the past few days and after SEOBook and Search Engine Land blogged about it, the talk of the town is the campaign to skew search engine results by who else? – the people behind the number one search engine – Google.
It looked like Google intentionally hire bloggers to write something about their browser Chrome. This is of course done by outsourcing this job to another agency, which in turn outsource it to another and the result is: the quality of the blog posts fell below what is acceptable and in fact some of the rules Google set for other Search Engine Optimizers were broken.
They got the ire of the SEO community for breaking the rules they set themselves. For one, they look like they’re paying to get links to their product. Second, the links leading to them doesn’t have the rel=”nofollow” required for sponsored links.
And so, they tried to rectify the damage done.
In a statement, Google said:
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.
It may be true that Google did not intend to skew their own rankings by breaking their own rules. After all, Google despised paid links to alter search engine rankings. That is what they said here.
They’re penalizing Google Chrome’s Pagerank for 60 days – they said and for me that’s a good thing to do – they talked about it. But how about the other websites which suddenly went off the rankings or were indefinitely penalized. I wonder.
This is embarrassing for Google but they’ll move on and so are the SEO people who make a living making sure that the websites they’re working on rank higher on the search engines.