The sponsored blog postings were commissioned by Essence Digital, a
London-based digital marketing agency. Google said it had never approved the
campaign and that only one of the sponsored blog postings improved the
Chrome home page’s PageRank.
“Google have consistently avoided paid postings to promote their products,
because in their view these kind of promotions are not transparent or in the
best interests of users,” Essence Digital said, apologising for the
According to Search
Engine Land, a leading blog about the web search industry, Google’s
self-punishment has had a dramatic effect. The Chrome home page is now
ranked as low as 73rd in a search for “browser”, for example. It was
previously ranked second in searches for the term.
The strict action comes as Google is under regulatory scrutiny by the European
Commission for allegedly using its dominance of web search to promote