At the beginning of this year Google was caught practicing the exact strategy that it forbids and sanctions with force. A Google Chrome paid-link scandal was uncovered by Aaron Wall.
Buying links is totally forbidden and that is what Google was doing to promote Google Chrome. Of course, the “mistake” was made by a third-party SEO agency contracted by Google. We do believe that this could happen in good-faith but doesn’t it also happen to webmasters around the world who might never recover from the sanctions they receive? That’s the point, getting the sanctions lifted for a small company is a long and costly process (revenues decrease while the penalty is in force, good faith is hard to prove) that some do not survive.
A 40 $ Amazon gift certificate for a sponsored blog post with a link to the Google Chrome page not only is a forbidden practice but it also led to a huge amount of junk content being indexed by Google…this is what many of the algorithm updates are trying to weed out.
The penalty was self-inflicted and has just been lifted: Penalizing Google Chrome in Google’s search results for 60 days.
The penalty is considerable but don’t you think this kind of sanction is easier to absorb when you have the corporate strength of this huge corporation? What about the small site webmasters? 60 days can take down your business.
I don’t think that, other than the embarassment factor, Google were bothered in the slightest. The penalty for 60 days is clearly a problem for the majority of buinesses or websites but Google will just shrug this off and move on, you are right that not everybody else can do this so easily.
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