Google Penalizing Its Own Google Chrome Search Results For Violating Google Paid Link Rules

from the left-hand,-right-hand dept

Well, this is interesting. Earlier this week Aaron Wall noticed that Google's Chrome team appeared to be sponsoring blog posts about Google that have direct links to Google Chrome, without any attempt to hide those from search bots... in contradiction to the rules that it has for others against buying links. Danny Sullivan dug into the details a little bit more and found that it was "jaw-dropping" in how it clearly violated Google's own rules, and just how ridiculous the entire campaign appears to be.

In response, Google has basically said that it never signed up for such a campaign, and appears to suggest that the advertising firm it hired was part of the problem. That firm, Essence Digital, more or less took the blame. However, Sullivan also notes that the actual campaign appears to have been run by a video company called Unruly. The whole thing seems like a mess, with Google not closely monitoring the companies it hired for the marketing campaign.

Either way, Google actually does appear to be taking this seriously -- as its anti-spam team is saying that it's going to reduce the Google PageRank for the Chrome team. That's actually fairly surprising -- as you basically have a company agreeing to punish itself for breaking its own rules, whereas most companies caught in this kind of situation would likely try to brush it off as not important...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Scooters (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 3:42am

    This will go unnoticed by those who feel Google is too big and must be regulated (while letting the financial institutions which cased the 2008 meltdown continue on with their faulty business practices despite regulations).

     

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  2.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:07am

    Now that's surprising and really interesting. Google has a few other stuff to punish itself for (like censoring the auto complete thing, letting the MAFIAA abuse the ContentID system on Youtube etc etc) but it seems like a good start.

    Hopefully it'll get some momentum and other companies will follow in the self punishment game? I doubt. Meanwhile the financial morons are still doing business with rotten papers.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:28am

    Re:

    Not only did the financial institutions case the 2008 meltdown, they then caused it - and profited from it.

     

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  4.  
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    Bengie, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 4:51am

    Overlords

    This is why I welcome my Google overlords. They are currently a "nice" company and I want to enjoy them before the power corrupts them.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:21am

    Re: Overlords

    No. This is why you keep rejecting them because you don't want them insinuated into every single part of your life before they turn evil. And make no mistake, they will turn evil because some Big Business or Wall Street guy will eventually be tapped to run the company at some point and then things will go bad very quickly.

     

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  6.  
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    blaktron (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re:

    The institutions in general didn't profit, a few did, a few went bust. The truly sickening thing is how the people involved profited directly with the bonus incentive culture. Even while they were making decisions clearly not in the best interests of their companies they were raking in huge bonuses based on the volume of trades they performed, no matter how detrimental.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    I don't necessarily think its self punishment so much as self policing. Its when you can't do that that you invite in outside forces to police you.

     

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  8.  
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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 5:52am

    scrutiny

    I hate to be negative as I like Google and their products, but I think this is more politically motivated than anything else. Not to suggest that Google wouldn't have done anything but perhaps not as swiftly or decisively.

    Google is under pretty serious scrutiny right now and they have to react like this to prevent giving their enemies any further ammunition.

     

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  9.  
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    fb39ca4, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 6:07am

    I'm confused. What exactly is going on?

     

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  10.  
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    A Guy (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 6:26am

    Re:

    Google is doing everything it can to avoid anti trust lawsuits after it got caught being anti competitive.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 7:18am

    Re:

    "censoring the auto complete thing..." Personally, I am happy that my 9 year old can go to Google and search for "fu..nny dog videos" or "as..tronomy" without being bombarded by curse words while doing so. If their auto complete wasn't censored it would be on our blocked site list, and they would be missing out on a great deal of search traffic from many other concerned parents. Oh but you are probably complaining that you don't get the words "free" or "pirate copy" in your auto-complete. God forbid that you have to type a few extra keystrokes to steal a movie or song.

     

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  12.  
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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re:

    This has come up in these discussions before. It's censorship if you, as the end user have no control. Filtering if you do. I have no issue with the feature being there, but give users who don't want/need it the ability to turn it off.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 7:50am

    Not sure this is good

    So, what we essentially have is a 3rd party who has artificially inflated Google Chrome's pagerank, and Google is punishing Chrome for it?

    Doesn't this suggest that anyone who wants to punish a 3rd party can do this to them as well? I wonder how much investigation Google is doing before they "punish" someone's pagerank - what if they find out a competitor caused this to happen?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Meh, it's a private company. They can do what they want. I'll still use them because I remember a time when I had to type out everything manually.

    Take a stand if you like. That's your prerogative. I doubt many people will.

     

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  15.  
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    mischab1, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 9:15am

    Re: Not sure this is good

    I don't think Chrome is being punished. It had an artificially high page rank so they lowered it closer to what it should be.

     

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  16.  
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    PRMan, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    If you have purchased links on your page, you have to use rel="nofollow" (or something like that) so that the search engine won't give them as much credit because they are purchased.

    Google was paying for Google Chrome ads on Google.com and wasn't following the rule that they punish others for. The team that enforces the rule decided that they needed to follow the rule because it's the right thing to make the internet work organically without being completely bought, so they enforced the rule, even though the enforcement came at the expense of Chrome.

     

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  17.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And most of the ones that caused that calamity are in the obama administration.

     

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  18.  
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    William, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 10:36am

    Re: scrutiny

    And your point? Who gives a shit? If you want to use that as an excuse, then hell, no company ever does anything for a good reason. They just do it to protect themselves.

     

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  19.  
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    William, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re:

    Fail troll is fail. It's not Google's fault that Bing sucks ass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    William, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Not sure this is good

    Says the troll.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Overlords

    "they will turn evil"

    Too late, they already are. Albeit, a softer, kinder, velvet-gloved evil that is preferable to most big corporations, but evil nonetheless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Jan 4th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's censorship if the government says you're not allowed to express it.

    Filtering the auto-complete is not censorship.

    You may claim otherwise if you like, of course. You're allowed to express silly opinions based on a misunderstanding of word definitions. But if you start screaming about Constitutional violations because you can't see dirty words in your Google auto-complete I am going to laugh at you. I expect I'll have company.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    HAH

    The "call everyone else a troll" troll. It's been a while since I've seen one of these.

    Due to nostalgia
    troll rating: 3/10

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 4th, 2012 @ 7:31pm

    Itís OK To Be Fans Of A Company ...

    ... but remember: never, never fall for the vendor lock-in, no matter how seductive they make it sound.

    That way, when (not if) they turn evil, you can just walk away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 5th, 2012 @ 1:58am

    Re: Oval Odds

    Yeah, Iíll bet they used to be perfectly round before.

     

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  26.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 5th, 2012 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re:

    Google has something for that called safe search. And I'm tech savy enough to know how to block connections via DNS and IP lvl on my home network. So my children probably would be less exposed to pornography. If I choose to censor them instead of being a good parent and be open about how the stuff works and why they can and cannot access some sites and why they must do it while I'm with them.

    Sorry AC, imposed censorship is very different from censorship by choice.

    Oh but you are probably complaining that you don't get the words "free" or "pirate copy" in your auto-complete. God forbid that you have to type a few extra keystrokes to steal a movie or song.

    I don't use Google for my file sharing needs, not anymore. I'm not your average pirate. And copyright infringement doesn't equal stealing. But you know that. You also know that most pirates, like me, buy a lot of stuff. But you choose to ignore that. I pity your children. But maybe I pity you more than that because your kids will infringe on copyright, either on purpose or by innocence. And SOPA might be there for them, along with NDAA. Cheers on your bright future ^^

     

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  27.  
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    Pranja, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:18pm

    Google's share price just shot down 10% and Google is being investigated yet again for massive privacy violations. It is only a matter of time before Google is history and the fucked-up people on this forum can go back to shining shoes for a living. I forgot, most Jews are peddlars so you can go back to your rag picking. I don't think I've ever seen such an ugly bunch of Hebes as are on this forum. Except of course, Sergey Brin and Larry Paige. Both are inbred, deformed Jews out of Russia. Why don't you do a column on all the inbred Israeli Jews who are suing for "wrongful life"? There are six hundred pending legal cases in Israel brought by deformed and diseased Jews who say their parents should not have married their first cousins.

     

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  28.  
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    lrobbo (profile), Jun 7th, 2012 @ 9:44am

    was glad they took this "seriously" as they are so quick to penalize others for breaking their rules. However, downgrading page rank really means very little . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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