Google violates own terms of searches, pandalizes self

After violating its own terms of service, Google has decided to punish itself by demoting itself in its own search results. For the next 60 days, you won't be plastered with ads for Chrome when you search for 'browser,' ZDNet reports.

The demotion stems from a paid ads campaign first uncovered by SEOBook. Google had been paying bloggers to create what would be considered 'low quality content' by the company's terms of service. By paying bloggers to post hyperlinks to the Chrome download page, Google was able to drive itself to a higher position in its own search results. The only problem was that this violated their own terms of service.

Google issued an official statement to Search Engine Land. Here's what they had to say:

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.

Regardless as to whether or not the blame falls on Google or one of its paid ad agencies, and regardless of the slap to the wrist Google is giving itself, one would think that Google would be above this, especially after what it has put other businesses through for similar violations. It's still hilarious to see Google going through the same thing that it put companies like Forbes and JC Penny through in the past, to the extent of using the same 'we didn't do it' excuse.

It looks like this is yet another case of a company needing to take a good look at itself before trying to fix other companies. What's next, the RIAA getting caught for piracy? Oh, wait...

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18 Comments

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Matthew_Thepc on 05 January 2012 - 01:35 said,
and now every "top news" story when searching for "browser" on Google is about Chrome o:

+1 LOL ontoit,.. This should cover them for at least "20 days+"

Oddly I don't see an "Opinion Piece" tag on this, but that's what it is. It's actual news followed by the poster's opinion of the company and their response. It's clearly biased and has "Hypocrite" as a tag. I mean come on, really not. What this boils down to is that Google did something wrong, it was pointed out, and then they rectified the situation and punished themselves accordingly. I'm noticing a disturbing anti-google trend on front page news about the company.

Amarok said,
Oddly I don't see an "Opinion Piece" tag on this, but that's what it is. It's actual news followed by the poster's opinion of the company and their response. It's clearly biased and has "Hypocrite" as a tag. I mean come on, really not. What this boils down to is that Google did something wrong, it was pointed out, and then they rectified the situation and punished themselves accordingly. I'm noticing a disturbing anti-google trend on front page news about the company.

Couldn't agree more, this is the kind of post I see from apple fanbois when Microsoft does something minor.

Amarok said,
Oddly I don't see an "Opinion Piece" tag on this, but that's what it is. It's actual news followed by the poster's opinion of the company and their response. It's clearly biased and has "Hypocrite" as a tag. I mean come on, really not. What this boils down to is that Google did something wrong, it was pointed out, and then they rectified the situation and punished themselves accordingly. I'm noticing a disturbing anti-google trend on front page news about the company.
what is anti google about this? google actually improved their impression towards me by aknowlaging this and rectifying it. plus good to know confirmation that they apply the seo on themself aswell.

Amarok said,
Oddly I don't see an "Opinion Piece" tag on this, but that's what it is. It's actual news followed by the poster's opinion of the company and their response. It's clearly biased and has "Hypocrite" as a tag. I mean come on, really not. What this boils down to is that Google did something wrong, it was pointed out, and then they rectified the situation and punished themselves accordingly. I'm noticing a disturbing anti-google trend on front page news about the company.

Bingo. But then again, who really gets tech news from this site? I mean they are always late on stories. I always read them somewhere else first. I go to much better sites for my tech news. I just like coming here to laugh at the silliness. And the occasional Microsoft news that isn't so biased (which are rare and few).

MrXXIV said,
LMFAO, basically. This has to be the best news I've seen at the beginning of the year.

This is not totally Google's Fault.. According to Google's policy if its a paid link blogger should have a nofollow tag for the link so that search will ignore the link on page rank... this should have been the bloggers fault but good to see Google taking this up.
http://support.google.com/webm...r.py?hl=en&answer=66736

still1 said,

This is not totally Google's Fault.. According to Google's policy if its a paid link blogger should have a nofollow tag for the link so that search will ignore the link on page rank... this should have been the bloggers fault but good to see Google taking this up.
http://support.google.com/webm...r.py?hl=en&answer=66736

Um.. NO, you can't blame a BLOGGER for noting a flaw, sorry, you are wrong. google is doing the right thing by accepting blame, because it WAS their fault.

rijp said,

Um.. NO, you can't blame a BLOGGER for noting a flaw, sorry, you are wrong. google is doing the right thing by accepting blame, because it WAS their fault.

Well, because they're all under different branches and whatsoever structure their company's based upon. I can't blame the policies one bit if one section hits the other.