Google has managed to shoot itself in the foot thanks to someone in the company thinking that it was a great idea to have paid posts for Chrome. Google has aggressively promoted its browser Chrome, across television, print and internet media. A recent look at the search query “this post is sponsored by Google Chrome” gives thousands of results.
This lead to questions about the practice of Google Chrome was buying links from bloggers to promote the landing page to download Chrome with a link. This practice is discouraged by Google itself.
Ideally the paid link should have had the NoFollow tag that indicates to Google it was a paid link.
Matt Cutts the head of Google web spam team, put out a post explaining the action Google would be taking. In a quote, Cutts explains the action that Google Web Spam team will take against paid links by Google Chrome.
In response, the webspam team has taken manual action to demote www.google.com/chrome for at least 60 days..
If you now search for the query ‘Browser’ or ‘Chrome’ the landing page for Chrome does not show up in the first few results at all. I decided to check the best query for the landing page to show up first which was ‘Download Google Chrome’.
Yes, even if Google has demoted a link to their landing page, they have promoted with an sponsored link.
Will it have an impact on Chrome?
No. Chrome is already a very popular browser and it might have a small impact on the number of downloads. Anyways if the download link still shows up as a sponsored link so that might not really impact its downloads.
This will probably add to the confusion over how and when one should use nofollow tags on links.
On the other hand, I am glad to see Google own up to its mistake and be transparent about what has happened instead for trying to cover up (which usually end up in further embarrassments).
What are your views on Google Chrome’s landing page getting demoted? Do drop in your comments.