The digital marketing agency world is awash with the news that Google has ‘downgraded’ its own Chrome browser within its own search results after ‘discovering’ that was the subject of a marketing campaign which actually paid money to bloggers who included a promotional video on their site.
Now, this is a huge embarrassment to Google, because firstly, they don’t like paid links which they reckon is an unfair way of manipulating back links and secondly, they hate what’s known as ‘thin’ content. A promotional video, such as the one talking about their own browser, is not usually viewed in the best light by Google and they have slapped the wrists of many companies employing such tactics.
So, a little awkward to say the least that they should find themselves in the firing line, but also somewhat hollow to penalise themselves with a downgrading which is meant to impress the folks in the digital marketing agency world. The words, “oh yeah”, resonated around the industry like a recent British storm.
In Google’s defence of course, they have fingered someone else to take the hit, a third party marketing agency called Essence Digital. Google have said, listen guv, we never asked these guys to approach any bloggers and place sponsored links.
Essence Digital obligingly fell on their sword in spectacular fashion, gushing via its own statement:
“Google never approved a sponsored-post campaign. They only agreed to buy online video ads. Google have consistently avoided paid postings to promote their products, because in their view these kind of promotions are not transparent or in the best interests of users.”
And just in case we didn’t get the message loud and clear:
“We apologise to Google who clearly didn’t authorise this.”