Google searches for “browser” no longer reveal the Google Chrome homepage, because the globally popular search engine decided to apply a penalty against the browser’s website after coming under fire for its sponsored post campaign.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company actively fights paid links and junk content under its Webmaster guidelines. However, earlier this week, SEO Book’s Aaron Wall noticed a Google search for “This post is sponsored by Google” displays over 400 websites written by Google marketing campaigns.
Bloggers were found posting low-quality content related to Google Chrome to promote Google content, and at least one of the posts had a hyperlink to the Chrome download page. Hyperlinks can help a website rise in Google search results through Google’s PageRank algorithm.
According to The New York Times, Google penalized JC Penney, Forbes and Overstock last year due to paid links and similar guidline violation issues. Search Engine Land suggested that Google should penalize its own Google Chrome download page to be fair.
Well, that is exactly how Google responded.