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...