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06 Jan 12 Google exec comments on the sponsored Chrome campaign and the finger pointing …


chrome oops

The involved parties all weigh in on the Chrome advertising debacle, including Googler Matt Cutts.

Earlier this week, Google came under fire for a pay-per-post campaign promoting its Chrome browser. In addition to being hypocritical (Google has made a lot of noise about punishing this type of spammy, page boosting, “thin” content), one sponsored blog post in particular failed to follow Google’s “nofollow” hyperlinking rule.

Google dutifully dropped Chrome’s page rank for the next 60 days and in a company statement explained that given its position, the company needs to hold itself to a higher standard.

matt cuttsMatt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, has also commented on the incident and given us some background on what exactly happened. “Google was trying to buy video ads about Chrome, and these sponsored posts were an inadvertent results of that,” he says via Google+. “If you investigated the two dozen or so sponsored posts (as the webspam team immediately did), the posts typically showed a Google Chrome video but didn’t actually link to Google Chrome. We double-checked, and the video players weren’t flowing PageRank to Google either.”

Cutts says there was one exception, however, in which a blogger failed to make a link to Chrome “nofollow” and as a result Google has demoted Chrome’s page rank.

Of course it’s not just the fact that one of these paid-for-posts was unwittingly giving Chrome an SEO boost. Google is also taking heat for creating the very type of Web content it tries to bury. According to Cutts, the campaign’s intention was purely “to get people to watch videos—not link to Google.”

One company hired to produce the video ads, Essence Digital, cops to Google’s innocence in the entire situation. “Google never approved a sponsored-post campaign. They only agreed to buy online video ads. Google have consistently avoided paid postings to promote their products, because in their view these kinds of promotions are transparent or are not in the best interests of users,” the company said in a statement. “In this case, Google were subjected to this activity through media that encouraged bloggers to create what appeared to be paid posts, were often of poor quality and out of line with Google standards. We apologize to Google who clearly didn’t authorize this.” 

There’s been a lot of finger pointing in this debacle, with most of the blame falling squarely on the shoulders of the unnamed blogger who failed to use the “nofollow” attribute. But it’s all fairly simple: Google says it doesn’t engage with pay-per-post advertising, but it hired a couple of companies (including Unruly Media) which do precisely that. Unruly Media has explained that while it doesn’t tell its writers what to write, it does pay them for it. Still, for all the blame-shifting going on here, at least Google is demoting itself a bit, even if it’s just to appease us all. 

Article source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/google-exec-comments-on-the-sponsored-chrome-campaign-and-the-finger-pointing-continues/

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06 Jan 12 Google exec comments on the sponsored Chrome campaign and the finger pointing continues


Earlier this week, Google came under fire for a pay-per-post campaign promoting its Chrome browser. In addition to being hypocritical (Google has made a lot of noise about punishing this type of spammy, page boosting, “thin” content), one sponsored blog post in particular failed to follow Google’s “nofollow” hyperlinking rule.

Google dutifully dropped Chrome’s page rank for the next 60 days and in a company statement explained that given its position, the company needs to hold itself to a higher standard.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, has also commented on the incident and given us some background on what exactly happened. “Google was trying to buy video ads about Chrome, and these sponsored posts were an inadvertent results of that,” he says via Google+. “If you investigated the two dozen or so sponsored posts (as the webspam team immediately did), the posts typically showed a Google Chrome video but didn’t actually link to Google Chrome. We double-checked, and the video players weren’t flowing PageRank to Google either.”

Cutts says there was one exception, however, in which a blogger failed to make a link to Chrome “nofollow” and as a result Google has demoted Chrome’s page rank.

Of course it’s not just the fact that one of these paid-for-posts was unwittingly giving Chrome an SEO boost. Google is also taking heat for creating the very type of Web content it tries to bury. According to Cutts, the campaign’s intention was purely “to get people to watch videos—not link to Google.”

One company hired to produce the video ads, Essence Digital, cops to Google’s innocence in the entire situation. “Google never approved a sponsored-post campaign. They only agreed to buy online video ads. Google have consistently avoided paid postings to promote their products, because in their view these kinds of promotions are transparent or are not in the best interests of users,” the company said in a statement. “In this case, Google were subjected to this activity through media that encouraged bloggers to create what appeared to be paid posts, were often of poor quality and out of line with Google standards. We apologize to Google who clearly didn’t authorize this.” 

There’s been a lot of finger pointing in this debacle, with most of the blame falling squarely on the shoulders of the unnamed blogger who failed to use the “nofollow” attribute. But it’s all fairly simple: Google says it doesn’t engage with pay-per-post advertising, but it hired a couple of companies (including Unruly Media) which do precisely that. Unruly Media has explained that while it doesn’t tell its writers what to write, it does pay them for it. Still, for all the blame-shifting going on here, at least Google is demoting itself a bit, even if it’s just to appease us all. 

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

More from Digital Trends

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Google+ axes MG Siegler’s ‘offensive’ profile picture

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/google-exec-comments-sponsored-chrome-campaign-finger-pointing-190606880.html

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05 Jan 12 Google relegates Chrome home page after spam criticism


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
sponsored postings.

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
secondary products.

Article source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/8995070/Google-relegates-Chrome-home-page-after-spam-criticism.html

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05 Jan 12 Google demotes Chrome browser in search results


Google is giving itself the digital equivalent of 100 lashes by downgrading the search result ranking of the company’s own Web browser, Google Chrome, for 60 days. The decision came after recent reports that a marketing company working for Google encouraged bloggers to write about Google Chrome for compensation. The practice of creating sponsored posts with the primary intent of gaming search results runs afoul of Google’s website quality guidelines.

So, just as Google would do with any other company that broke its rules, the search giant punished Chrome’s site ranking in Google search result -known as a site’s PageRank. Punishing its own Web browser may make up for Google’s faux pas in the eyes of the media and may even make Google employees feel that their company is doing the right thing. But for the average user, Google’s self-flagellation makes it harder to find and download Chrome, even if you’re specifically searching for the popular Web browser.

Google reportedly bought online video ads from a digital media agency called Essence Digital. Essence then reportedly hired another company called Unruly to carry out Google’s video ad campaign, according to Search Engine Land. The end result was that a number of blogs wrote positive posts (with the video embedded) about Google Chrome for compensation – the reward was apparently Amazon gift cards, SEL said in a separate report.

Google doesn’t specifically state it will punish a site’s PageRank for creating sponsored posts. The problems start when paid posts start linking back to the sponsored website – in this case www.google.com/chrome.

Links pointing to a specific site are one of the primary ways that Google judges a site’s PageRank. The more links a site has pointing at it, the thinking goes, the higher quality it must be. Let’s say Acme company is paying for bloggers to link to acmecompany.com. Google could see those paid links and determine that acmecompany.com was a popular site on the Web and thus increase its PageRank.

In reality, however, the fictitious company I made up to illustrate a point, Acme, was artificially boosting its Google ranking to attract more customers. To fight against this type of abuse, Google’s own watchdog team says it will penalise a site’s PageRank if it is caught participating in a paid link scheme. Last February, for example, Google downgraded department store retailer, JC Penney after The New York Times uncovered an apparent paid link scheme. JC Penney denied any direct knowledge of the PageRank efforts claiming a third-party was involved.

In Chrome’s case, the decision to downgrade the browser’s PageRank appears to be more about the principle of paid links than actual misdeeds. Matt Cutts, Google’s chief webspam fighter, said his team found only one paid link pointing back to Chrome’s landing page, hardly enough to affect Google’s search results.

Nevertheless, that one link violates Google’s quality guidelines so now it is a little bit harder to find and download Google Chrome using a Google search. In my tests, Google.com/Chrome ranks on Google’s fourth page of results for the search term “web browser” and the sixth page for “browser.” Chrome typically ranks on the first page for both results.

The annoying problem starts when a user searches for “Chrome” or “Google Chrome.” In those cases, the first result is currently a Google support page called “Download and install Google Chrome” instead of the typical first result, Google.com/Chrome. So instead of a top search result that gets you directly to where you want to go, you end up on a help page that has a second link you have to click to get to the page you really want.

Two mouse clicks (plus a little bit of reading to find the link you want) may not be such a big deal, but it is adds another hassle for users in what should be a relatively easy process. I suppose Google was in a difficult position with this choice. If the company penalizes Chrome, then users will have a slightly harder time using Google search. But if the company doesn’t penalize Chrome it will be accused of hypocrisy, or worse, favoring its own sites at a time when federal regulators are looking at Google as a potential antitrust target.

So for the next 60 days users will have to muddle through a slightly less useful Google search result in the name of fairness. Unless, of course, your primary search engine is Microsoft Bing where the current top search result for “chrome” and “google chrome” is currently, Google.com/Chrome.

Article source: http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/270/f/470440/s/1b8a7dd6/l/0Lnews0Btechworld0N0Capplications0C33279180Cgoogle0Edemotes0Echrome0Ebrowser0Ein0Esearch0Eresults0C0Dolo0Frss/story01.htm

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05 Jan 12 Google Disciplines Itself in Chrome Browser PageRank Controversy


Google is giving itself the digital equivalent of 100 lashes by downgrading the search result ranking of the company’s own Web browser, Google Chrome, for 60 days. The decision came after recent reports that a marketing company working for Google encouraged bloggers to write about Google Chrome for compensation. The practice of creating sponsored posts with the primary intent of gaming search results runs afoul of Google’s website quality guidelines.

So, just as Google would do with any other company that broke its rules, the search giant punished Chrome’s site ranking in Google search results–known as a site’s PageRank. Punishing its own Web browser may make up for Google’s faux pas in the eyes of the media and may even make Google employees feel that their company is doing the right thing. But for the average user, Google’s self-flagellation makes it harder to find and download Chrome, even if you’re specifically searching for the popular Web browser.

Here is the Google PageRank Debacle Back Story

Google reportedly bought online video ads from a digital media agency called Essence Digital. Essence then reportedly hired another company called Unruly to carry out Google’s video ad campaign, according to Search Engine Land. The end result was that a number of blogs wrote positive posts (with the video embedded) about Google Chrome for compensation–the reward was apparently Amazon gift cards, SEL said in a separate report.

Google doesn’t specifically state it will punish a site’s PageRank for creating sponsored posts. The problems start when paid posts start linking back to the sponsored website–in this case www.google.com/chrome.

Links pointing to a specific site are one of the primary ways that Google judges a site’s PageRank. The more links a site has pointing at it, the thinking goes, the higher quality it must be. Let’s say Acme company is paying for bloggers to link to acmecompany.com. Google could see those paid links and determine that acmecompany.com was a popular site on the Web and thus increase its PageRank.

In reality, however, the fictitious company I made up to illustrate a point, Acme, was artificially boosting its Google ranking to attract more customers. To fight against this type of abuse, Google’s own watchdog team says it will penalize a site’s PageRank if it is caught participating in a paid link scheme. Last February, for example, Google downgraded department store retailer, JC Penney after The New York Times uncovered an apparent paid link scheme. JC Penney denied any direct knowledge of the PageRank efforts claiming a third-party was involved.

Google Puts Itself in the Crosshairs

In Chrome’s case, the decision to downgrade the browser’s PageRank appears to be more about the principle of paid links than actual misdeeds. Matt Cutts, Google’s chief webspam fighter, said his team found only one paid link pointing back to Chrome’s landing page, hardly enough to affect Google’s search results.

Nevertheless, that one link violates Google’s quality guidelines so now it is a little bit harder to find and download Google Chrome using a Google search. In my tests, Google.com/Chrome ranks on Google’s fourth page of results for the search term “web browser” and the sixth page for “browser.” Chrome typically ranks on the first page for both results.

Do Consumers Win With Remedy?

The annoying problem starts when a user searches for “Chrome” or “Google Chrome.” In those cases, the first result is currently a Google support page called “Download and install Google Chrome” instead of the typical first result, Google.com/Chrome. So instead of a top search result that gets you directly to where you want to go, you end up on a help page that has a second link you have to click to get to the page you really want.

Two mouse clicks (plus a little bit of reading to find the link you want) may not be such a big deal, but it adds another hassle for users in what should be a relatively easy process. I suppose Google was in a difficult position with this choice. If the company penalizes Chrome, then users will have a slightly harder time using Google search. But if the company doesn’t penalize Chrome it will be accused of hypocrisy, or worse, favoring its own sites at a time when federal regulators are looking at Google as a potential antitrust target.

So for the next 60 days users will have to muddle through a slightly less useful Google search result in the name of fairness. Unless, of course, your primary search engine is Microsoft Bing where the current top search result for “chrome” and “google chrome” is currently, Google.com/Chrome.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter and Google+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/247257/google_disciplines_itself_in_chrome_browser_pagerank_controversy.html

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