Google has policies in place that ban paying bloggers to promote its products, but the company recently came under fire for a campaign that involved incentivizing hundreds of bloggers for links intended to help boost Google Chrome search results.
The posts were all marked "sponsored by Google."
Google blamed the snafu on ad agencies Essence Digital and Unruly. In a statement published by The Washington Post, members of the Google communications team said the company did not agree to anything beyond online ads, and is now looking at what changes it needs to make to ensure a similar situation does not reoccur.
“We have consistently avoided paid sponsorships, including paying bloggers to promote our products, because these kind of promotions are not transparent or in the best interests of users,” the statement said.
Essence Digital confirmed Google's stance that it did not authorize the activity.
“In this case, Google were subjected to this activity through media that encouraged bloggers to create what appeared to be paid posts, were often of poor quality and out of line with Google standards,” the statement said. “We apologize to Google, who clearly didn't authorize this.”
But while it seems Google did not authorize the activity, the company will have to be extra alert to these types of matters in the future to keep its reputation in tact.