Google Knocks Chrome In Its Search Rankings After Sponsored Blog Post Controversy

Google is slapping itself on its own metaphorical wrist after a bit of controversy over sponsored Chrome ads on various blogs boosted the site’s Google PageRank. The company announced they’ll lower the offending page’s rank for two months at the least.

“We’ve investigated and are taking manual action to demote and lower the site’s PageRank for a period of at least 60 days,” a Google spokesman said in an email via

The brouhaha was revealed this week when an SEO Book blogger pointed out that Google was most likely going against its rule that sponsored blog posts, including paid links to a site, not be allowed to influence search rankings.

Google has gone after other sites that violated its rules, and they say they’re taking themselves to task more than they usually would.

“We strive to enforce Google’s webmaster guidelines consistently in order to provide better search results for users,” the spokesman said. “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.”

In this case, Google was working with a company called Unruly Media for its Chrome ads. Unruly says the video ads were wrapped with javascript that would prevent it from influencing search engine rankings. Bloggers are also supposed to use a “nofollow” tag in the code. That must’ve not happened, eh, Google?

Google Demotes Chrome Ranking Over Sponsored Blog Posts [PCMag]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mike says:

    Don’t really have anything to say about this story but I love Chrome. I use it on all my machines, I especially love it on Linux. With the combination of Ubuntu and Chrome I have given life to several old computers that were otherwise useless because they could not play HD videos online smoothly or were too slow for modern demands. I still use Opera and on a rare occasion Firefox, but Chrome is my go to browser.

    Death before IE.

  2. meltingcube says:

    In the past I’ve gone back and forth between Chrome, and only as of a few months ago went to Chrome 100% with good plugins (especially adblock) being added. Firefox has gotten way too resource hungry and slow for my needs whereas Chome has worked wonderful.

  3. Cat says:

    If Google treated itself the way it treats its own bloggers, it would take down its own sites – without warning or reason and then take 4 months to review it before allowing it back up.

  4. Quixiotic... Yea it's a typo (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ says:

    Does Google’s response even matter? “We’ll lower the PageRank for the site for our own browser for 2 months.” Whew, glad they’re sorry for their crimes and their actions truly reflect that (/s)…

    No one “Googles” Chrome. So affecting the search results for Chrome seems to me like some counterfeiter printing up some money and saying “go buy yourself something nice!” Doesn’t do me any harm nor does it solve any problem… Oh well.

    • Ihmhi says:

      Yes, they do.

      How often would you hear a company say “We’ve broken the rules that WE WROTE and enforce on everyone else, so we are being EXTRA TOUGH on ourselves for doing something when we should have known better.”

      This is like cops giving other cops speeding tickets that cost more than those given to ordinary citizens. It is a good thing.

      • nicless says:

        Can I ask why someone would search Google for Chrome when there is a link on the main site before you even enter a search term?

        • 451.6 says:

          I can’t speak for anyone else, but Google isn’t my home page, so when I installed Chrome on my computer, I searched for it using the Google search bar in Firefox.

  5. StarfishDiva says:

    Hey! My Chromercize bands!!! I has them on my desk!

  6. TasteyCat says:

    In IE, I see a box in the upper right corner of Google’s home page that’s basically an ad for Chrome. I don’t see this in Safari, so perhaps the 3 people who use that will be impacted.

  7. make7acs says:

    You mean Google is using their own company to promote their product?