Yesterday in the search world the big news was Google Japan being caught buying links. Doh!
Well quick to act on it was Google who assured us that Google Japan did not realize it was against the G-man’s guidelines and a penalty would be assessed accordingly.
Here is the apology from Google:
“Google Japan is running several promotional activities to let people know more about our products.
It turns out that using blogs on the part of the promotional activities violates Google’s search guidelines, so we have ended the promotion. We would like to apologize to the people concerned and to our users, and are making an effort to make our communications more transparent in order to prevent the recurrence of such an incident.”
Matt Cutt’s also took to Twitter to explain:
I don’t personally feel the need to rehash everything that has already been said but I will say, I agree the most with Shaun over at Hobo Web who wrote:
“A PR penalty for Google Japan is er… kind of totally toothless isn’t it. It’s funnier the more you think about it. Unless of course they are selling links somewhere on there based on pagerank.”
While I understand Google is showing us that they will even penalize themselves, how much is it really going to hurt them? If anything, they just got however many hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands of people talking about Google Japan. And they didn’t have to pay those bloggers!!! 😉
Here are some nice write ups on the Google Japan “Scandal”: