As an affiliate, you spend countless hours optimizing your website in hopes of ranking high in the Google search results. Along with this, it is essential to stay current with the latest algorithm changes.

Google has been hit with accusations of violating its own guidelines on paid links. Imagine that, the search engine giant itself has made a mistake that so many others have fallen prey to in the past. It is well known that paying bloggers to write reviews that include a backlink (or more) is a big no-no. However, Google decided to move forward nonetheless.

According to SEO Book and Search Engine Land, there are over 400 pages online (presumably sponsored posts) that contain the phrase “this post is sponsored by Google.” Along with this, at least one of the pages contains a video for its Chrome search engine with a link back to its download page. Adding insult to injury, the nofollow attribute, which Google requires for paid links, was not used.

Is Google to Blame?

Google has not taken any responsibility for this error. Instead, they are blaming Unruly Media – a company it hired to carry out the campaign. According to higher-ups at Google, they never agreed to anything more than the publishing of online ads.

If Google is playing by the same rules as other webmasters, it does not matter where the blame lies.

The bottom line remains the same: they paid for links and they should be penalized. After all, these are the rules that affiliates have to live by!