Oh, irony! Google Chrome, which recently took over 2nd place from Firefox in the browser competition (I presume IE is still at the top), hardly needs to pay for publicity (more about that below). But apparently they did just that:
Essentially, Google was caught paying at least one PR company to spam the Web with hundreds of crudely written “sponsored posts” from bloggers promoting Google Chrome — posts comprised of what would seem to be just placeholder text and unsubstantiated pro-Google Chrome statements.
Many of the blogs contained a video ad that linked to the Chrome website, and in at least one instance, a “sponsored post” linked directly to the download page for Google’s free Chrome browser, in seeming violation of Google’s own guidelines against paid links, as Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan pointed out.
Most or all of the posts contained the words “This post is sponsored by Google.”
Let me say this as directly as I know how: no one has ever paid me one damned cent to plug a product. Never. My money earned from this blog is nada. And as long as I’m financially solvent, this blog will continue to be a not-for-profit effort.
Let me say further that whoever at Google sponsored that campaign is not just a fool but a damned fool. After about three weeks of using Google Chrome, I am convinced that it is in fact the superior browser. On Linux I don’t have a whole lot of options, but I maintain both Firefox and Chrome installed and updated, and at the moment, I use Chrome for most things, and I could easily write a post extolling its virtues. But if I did that right at the moment, it might be misconstrued. Ask me later.
Google is attempting to make amends for its fuckup by demoting its own page rank for the Chrome download page. I suppose that will have to do, as there is no way to unpublish all those blog posts. What utter foolishness!
AFTERTHOUGHT: Carl Franzen still hasn’t learned to distinguish “comprise” from “compose.” C’mon, Carl… if you’re going to be a real writer, you have to use words correctly. Repeat after me: “A whole comprises its parts. A whole comprises its parts. …”