Google's hit itself with the ban-hammer after the fracas yesterday over paid links artificially inflating Google Chrome's PageRank and breaking Google's own terms of service.
Matt Cutts, the head Google's webspam team, explained that they've taken manual action and dropped www.google.com/chrome down a few notches for at least 60 days, after an investigation by its spam complaints team found it in violation of its terms of service. It's precisely what it would do to any other company, and isn't the first time the web search team has taken action against other Google products. After 60 days the Chrome team can submit a review request documenting their actions and get the restriction lifted.
"Even though the intent of the campaign was to get people to watch videos--not link to Google--and even though we only found a single sponsored post that actually linked to Google’s Chrome page and passed PageRank, that’s still a violation of our quality guidelines"
"In response, the webspam team has taken manual action to demote www.google.com/chrome for at least 60 days. After that, someone on the Chrome side can submit a reconsideration request documenting their clean-up just like any other company would. During the 60 days, the PageRank of www.google.com/chrome will also be lowered to reflect the fact that we also won’t trust outgoing links from that page."
Will it affect Chrome's visibility on the web compared to Firefox and IE? Probably not. But does it reinforce the "don't be evil" mantra? Yep, but only as long as someone's watching in the media. [Google]
Image credit: Gavel from Shutterstock