Google’s search team has voluntarily demoted the main page for its Chrome browser for at least 60 days after being accused of violating its own policy against paid links with a marketing campaign designed to boost Chrome’s popularity. In a statement from Google “We’ve investigated and are taking manual action to demote and lower the site’s PageRank for a period of at least 60 days,”
The penalty will last for at least 60 days after which those responsible for the Google Chrome page can submit a request for reconsideration to the Google webspam team.
The posts were disclosed as being part of paid campaign, but at least one of them included a link to the Chrome download page without the “no follow” attribute, which goes against Google’s policies relating to paid links.
“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,” Matt Cutts, Google’s webspam guru and public face for any related issues, wrote.
“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,” he explained. The immediate result is that google.com/chrome is nowhere to be found in the search results for things like “chrome,” “google chrome” or even “browser.”