It seems Google have penalised themselves, publicly. Google Japan was caught buying links on a blogger review network. Oops. Kind of embarrassing because buying reviews on networks like these are well against Google terms and conditions. (UPDATE – It took 9 months for Google to lift this pagerank ‘penalty’).
PS – It’s Charles Darwin’s Birthday, as celebrated with this cool logo from Google.
Matt Cutts tweeted the Japanese version of Google.co.jp was penalized for paying for blogger reviews on a bloger review network. Matt said,
Google.co.jp PageRank is now ~5 instead of ~9. I expect that to remain for a while.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) February 12, 2009
And then when he was questioned if this was a paid link penalty, he said
I wonder. 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 :)
What will be interesting is how long this PR penalty will last, if they had to resubmit the site to Webmastertools and how much cleanup they had to undertake to get their Google PR back :)
It will be even more interesting if there is full disclosure what you need to do… if you are caught.
it is interesting to see that Google, a company that not too long ago radically took action against PayPerPost bloggers in the US, today thinks the concept is suitable as long as it helps them advance in Japan.