Google cracks down on companies all the time for trying to mess with its vaunted search results, and it turns out that itself is no exception: Hundreds of bloggers were paid for putting up sponsored links to Google Chrome, with most of the posts containing the kind of irrelevant "garbage" content that the search king has been trying to push down the search rankings, Search Engine Land reports. Google blamed the clear violation of its guidelines on the ad agencies it hired to promote the browser.
Google has demoted Chrome in search results for "browser," so that the Chrome page does not appear in the first 50 results. "While Google did not authorize this campaign, and we can find no remaining violations of our webmaster guidelines, we believe Google should be held to a higher standard, so we have taken stricter action than we would against a typical site," the company said in a statement. (Read more search engine stories.)