Jan 04, 2012

What will be the impact of Google's violating its own rules to push up Chrome's search results?

Will there be a backlash against Chrome because of the discovery of a marketing campaign that pushed up Chrome's PageRank through paid sponsorship, in violation of Google's own policies?

Nope, I don't think most people will know or care about this. I'm using Chrome and I don't particularly care. A tempest in a teapot for sure. Sounds like Google did a good job in dealing with it though, at least they can say they tried to atone for it.

I think Google did a pretty good job of damage control by promptly bumping down Chrome's pagerank.  I just checked and Chrome is now #57 in search results for the term browser, and Google has said they are going to keep this penalty in place for 60 days.  In the big scheme of things, I don't consider this "scandal" much of a big deal.  Sure, it isn't cool that Google's own guidelines were violated to promote a Google product, but I think the fact that an outside ad/pr agency that had a contract with Google was the one actually violating the guidelines should be considered.  Google says that they didn't authorize the paid blog post campaign at the heart of this.  While we can't be sure whether they did or not, it is plausible that the agency did it on their own.  Since Google sanctioned themselves, I think they have done close enough to the right thing for this to be a non-issue.  I'm using Chrome right now, as a matter of fact, and not feeling bad about it.  I will be curious to see if the pagerank handslap has any effect of Chrome adoptation over the next two months.  My guess is there will be very minimal impact. 

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