Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land posted an article about how Google is violating it’s own rules about sponsored posts, link buying, and content spam to promote Google Chrome. I find it amazing that Google would sanction these efforts considering the well documented brand bias in their search results. Google places their products and listings where users “expect” to find them anyway, so why would they need a pay per post campaign? Apparently they are trying to create more social buzz to get more people to adopt Chrome as their browser.
Google is paying for blog posts which link back to Google Chrome’s download page via a text link and a video link. The blog posts are generally poor quality and the videos don’t have a lot to do with Google Chrome. Google is sponsoring posts that link back to their Chrome download page without nofollow tags (clear violations) and the blog posts they are sponsoring have very little to do with the subject. Both the content and the video are very low quality which should anger the Panda.
How did this happen? Google is paying a company called Unruly to promote Chrome on social networks and one tactic of Unruly is to run vast pay-per-post link spam campaigns. Google for Google, they can throw Unruly under the bus and go on their merry way.
What will Matt Cutts do? We’ll see, but my guess is he’ll do what he’s told. If it were you or me, we’d be banned for a year.
The full article is definitely worth a read.