“Bad Google,” says Google
Google has a set of webmaster guidelines that help web designers figure out how to optimize search results and make sure people don’t try to trick the search engine into a better page ranking than a site might deserve. It’s kind of a code of ethics, if you will, and if sites break this code, they are penalized with lower page rankings. The funny thing is that when Google hired an ad agency to promote a video for the Chrome browser, Google violated its own policy.
The agency hired bloggers to promote the Chrome video, which is all fine and good, but a handful of them decided to include links to the browser’s download page in their posts. That’s a no-no when “nofollow” text isn’t included in the link. Essentially, if someone clicked on the link, Google Chrome would get another page view and boost its own page rankings, thus getting two for the price of one. When “nofollow” text is included, the second click doesn’t register a page view.
Are you still with me? Okay, here’s the rub: according to a statement from Google to Search Engine Land, Google has decided to “demote www.google.com/chrome and lower the site’s PageRank for a period of at least 60 days.” So if you search for “browser” on Google, a link to Chrome doesn’t pop up as the number two most searched for browser as it did a couple days ago.