Posted February 12, 2009 5:20 pm by with 16 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

gjsadWe all know that Google is against using paid links to promote your site in search engine results. But apparently they didn’t exactly put that on the internal memo, because Google Japan took a major PR hit for doing just that.

Google Blogoscoped covers the background on exactly how Google Japan was paying for links:

Akky Akimoto at the Asiajin blog recently reported that Google Japan was paying bloggers to review a new Google widget. Using pay-per-post service CyberBuzz, blog posts like the following popped up, strangely resembling each other, as Asiajin reports

Naturally, this news is a bit of a shock to people in the US after the similar stateside PayPerPost service received some pretty harsh treatment from Google (see Matt Cutts’s take from Dec 2007).

Okay, so that looks pretty bad for Google and Google Japan. So what’s a search overlord to do when a regionalized site violates its guidelines? Make GJ apologize and sit in the corner?

Score one for the rule of law today, folks—Google did the same thing to its own site that it did to other sites. As Search Engine Land confirms from Matt Cutts’s Twitter stream, Google Japan dropped from the 9 range in PageRank to the 5 range. (They actually did apologize (translation), too, but anyway.)

Naturally, it’s possible that another 9-range PR site would be penalized more heavily for violating Google’s guidelines, but I’m glad to see Google taking some action against GJ here.

What do you think? (But let’s not have this devolve into a paid links debate, mmkay?)

  • Andy Beal

    I’m glad to see that Google is abiding by a single standard. Then again, how could it not? If Google hadn’t taken action, the SEO community would have sent out a lynch-mob.

  • Ikram Baharum

    this is nice…will link up this post on my blog…

    Ikram Baharum’s last blog post..How to get automatic notification on page rank changes

  • Jayson

    I think they took the only approach they could have. I more interested in seeing how long it will take to come back.

    Jayson’s last blog post..Southwest Florida New Home Golf Community – Twin Eagles

  • SEO Marketing

    That’s really sad news for Google itself.

    SEO Marketing’s last blog post..Energy Saving Product to reduce Your Energy Bills

  • Lance

    Whew! That captcha nearly had me there!
    Seems a pretty fair slap on the wrist from 9 down to 5.

    Lance’s last blog post..Some things I don’t like about Taiwan…

  • Jacques Seoman

    Hahahahahah! I gfind it quite amuzing that Google is penalising themselves……I can just imagine the internal memos that went around due to this little indiscretion!

  • Andrew Wise

    How could they be so disconnected? Well at least Japan is throwing out all stops to bring in some revenue.

    Andrew Wise’s last blog post..How To Build Free High Page Rank Backlinks

  • CasieG

    I think that they just got a whole lot of bloggers talking about Google Japan…and they didn’t have to pay them :)

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Google slaps itself across the face. Well they couldn’t just ignore it.

  • Sarah

    At least Google is not breaking any rule by penalising Google Japan. However, it is shocking that Google Japan has to ‘buy links’ since Google is a popular brand that everyone would be eager to talk about.

  • Pingback: Google Japan Bought Links()


    It’s an awesome story. I wonder why google center did not know what has been done by their branch like google japan?’s last blog post..Active Desktop Calendar 7.7

  • Pingback: Google se Penaliza a sí Mismo: BlogSociedad()

  • Steven

    Yes, it is great that Google has enforced the penalty, and at a -4, it is a pretty hefty one at that and shows how much they don’t like paid links.

    For small operators with a PR of 4 or less, it is a killer if they try the same trick

    Steven’s last blog post..Google Penalises Google for Paid Links

  • Pingback: A Running List of Sponsored Conversations()

  • Pingback: Google se Penaliza a sí Mismo | Blog Ellas()