A violation of Google's anti-spam policy on the Chrome download page has forced the company to dock the search ranking of its own browser.
The company has demoted the Chrome download page on its search engine, causing the web browser to appear lower than it normally would on common search queries such as 'web browsers'. Additionally, the site will see its PageRank rating reduced.
After a period of 60 days, webmasters will be able to reapply to have their rating and search status restored.
The demotion follows reports that the Chrome page was connected to a spam link operation. Search news site Search Engine Land reported that a series of sponsored posts were found that connected directly to the Chrome page. The posts were said to be in violation of Google's policy on paid links.
Google has, in recent months, sought to crack down on sites that attempt to take advantage of its search engine for marketing. In April 2011, the company began to penalise sites that used specially crafted pages to boost search rankings and achieve preferential placement on search result pages.
The move will add Google's own browser to the list of high-profile brands that have found themselves facing PageRank penalties. BMW and Ricoh were among the first to face penalties from Google.
"We strive to enforce Google’s webmaster guidelines consistently in order to provide better search results for users," Google said in a widely distributed statement.
"While Google did not authorise this campaign and we can find no remaining violations of our webmaster guidelines, we believe Google should be held to a higher standard, so we have taken stricter action than we would against a typical site."
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