Google has penalised itself following the embarrassing revelations concerning the advertising of its Chrome browser.
The problem, first noticed by several SEO commentators including Search Engine Land and SEO Book, surrounded the promotion of Google Chrome through video ads on YouTube.
The promotion was being handled by Essence Digital, who gave the task of placing the ads to another company, Unruly Media. They recruited bloggers who posted the video and wrote content to go with it. In at least one case though, there was a direct link to the browser.
It was this that broke Google’s own rule on paid promotions.
Though only one such case of this infringement has been found, the webspam team has manually demoted www.google.com/chrome. The demotion will be effective for at least sixty days, before a reconsideration request will be entertained.
The PageRank will also reflect the lower level of trust for outgoing links from the page.
Though embarrassing, it is clear that the search engine giant was not directly responsible for the breach. However, many other companies have claimed much the same reason when they have been found to break the rules.
Moreover, the last few days has seen many wonder whether action would be taken. It is probably how any inaction would have been viewed that is largely responsible for the move.
Having completed a few “browser” queries using Google, this blog has found no trace of direct links to the browser. However, it has certainly gained a lot of press inches, so is not entirely a bad move.