In 2012, Google’s sponsored post campaign to promote its Chrome browser produced posts that violated its guidelines against “thin” content and potentially those against buying links.

A day later, we found out what happened, according to Google. In Google: Yes, Sponsored Post Campaign Was Ours But Not What We Signed-Up For, Google told Search Engine Land:

“Google never agreed to anything more than online ads. 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. We’re now looking at what changes we need to make to ensure that this never happens again.”

– Google

Google took manual action, demoting the Google Chrome home page. As a result, searches for [browser] no longer brought up the page.

Read all about it in Google’s Chrome Page No Longer Ranks For “Browser” After Sponsored Post Penalty.

Also on this day 

Meta will remove targeting options for sensitive topics on Jan. 19

2022:  “Health causes,” “sexual orientation,” “religious practices and groups,” and “political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations and figures,” were among the examples of targeting options slated for deprecation.

Microsoft Advertising launches sweepstakes for advertisers

2020: To enter, advertisers had to complete the Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional (MACP) certification, add a new Microsoft Advertising account, or enroll in the Micorosft Advertising Partner Program.

Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.

Brands can now buy Walmart sponsored search ads via API partners

2020: Walmart Media Group named four initial advertising partners to support sponsored search campaigns.

Robots.txt tip from Bing: Include all relevant directives if you have a Bingbot section

2019: Frédéric Dubut, a senior program manager at Microsoft working on Bing Search, said when you create a specific section in your robots.txt file for its Bingbot crawler, you should make sure to list all the default directives in that section.

Report: Google exploring sale of Zagat reviews

2018: Google’s parent Alphabet was reportedly considering a sale of reviews publication Zagat. And by March, the deal was done, when The Infatuation bought Zagat.

Search In Pics: Glasshole Receipt, GDG Gingerbread Cookies & Penguin Popper

2014: What people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more.

FTC Closes Google Antitrust Case: “Law Protects Competition Not Competitors,” Not Enough Evidence To Prove “Search Bias”

2013: After 19 months of investigation, political maneuvering, lobbying and intense speculation the FTC has closed its antitrust investigation of Google, which came away largely unscathed from the process.

2013: Bing was changing four of the Deep Links (Bing’s name for what Google calls Sitelinks) under the Google search result and pointing them to completely different domains. See also: Strange Bug In Bing Deep Links Shows Facebook, Craigslist As Part Of Google

Baidu Testing Facial Recognition Search; Similar To Google’s “Search By Image”

2013: The new feature let searchers upload an image of a face and Baidu would then try to return other photos of the same person, with information on the name of the person. 

DuckDuckGo Challenges Google On Privacy With

2011: The illustrated guide showed how Google tracked its users and how DuckDuckGo didn’t.

Italy To Regulate YouTube & Other Video Sites Like TV Stations

2011: YouTube, and parent Google, became considered TV broadcasters in Italy, according to new rules by the Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM). The rules applied equally to other websites providing video content, provided they also ran advertising.

Google Gaining Ground In Smartphone, Browser Markets

2011: Android OS achieved a 25.8% market share, putting it within striking distance of Apple’s iOS, while the Chrome browser reached a major milestone, capturing 10% of the market.

Last Call: Yahoo’s adCenter Transition Tool About To Close

2011: A final reminder for search marketers to move their Yahoo Search Marketing account over to Microsoft adCenter.

With So Much Money Is A Facebook Search Engine Inevitable?

2011: Once upon a time, Facebook was a private company and made only $2 billion a year in advertising.

A Tale Of Three Android Phones: Droid 2, Samsung Fascinate & Google Nexus S

2011: A look at how three different Android cousins performed and measured up against the iPhone.

Traffic Power’s CEO Jailed Over Alleged Foreclosure Scams

2008: Matt Marlon was arrested for allegedly conning homeowners faced with foreclosure to give the company their homes.

The Google Challengers: 2008 Edition

2008: A guide to stealth search start-ups of the time, including Blekko, Powerset, Hakia, Mahalo, Cuill and more.

2008: IAC Search & Media and/or ASK Jeeves advertisers were entitled to a reimbursement for click fraud or other invalid or improper clicks.

Google AdSense Launches Newbie Central

2008: It was a location for new publishers to go and get started with AdSense.

Goodbye, Yahoo Picks

2008: The world said goodbye to Yahoo Picks Of The Week & Picks Of The Day after 12 years.

Ask Mobile Adds “Click To Speak” Directions

2008: The service sent a text link that opens a mobile page with a map and turn-by-turn directions. 

ChaCha Goes Mobile With TextChaCha

2008: Social search engine ChaCha introduced a new text-based mobile service called “textChaCha” to answer potentially any question from mobile users.

2007: In-car navigation provider Dash and Yahoo Local announced a deal to deliver Yahoo Local content via Dash’s portable “Dash Express” device and system.

Google Changes Hiring Process To Meet Job Opening Needs

2007: Google was looking to hire more people, quicker, and have less standards in terms of SAT score and GPA, but with more focus on how the applicant may fit within the company culture and work ethic.

2007: Google and Earthlink were finally near finalizing an agreement with San Francisco officials to provide free WiFi to the city.

Google Beta Testing Keyword Based AdSense Competitive Filter List?

2007: It appeared that Google was testing a feature that allowed AdSense publishers to block ads from showing via a keyword list.

Intertainer Sues Google For Patent Infringement On Online Video & Audio Distribution

2007: Google, Apple and Napster were all sued by Jonathan T. Taplin’s Intertainer for patent infringement of a 2005 patent that covers commercial distribution of audio and video over the Internet.

YouTube Hiring Advertising Sales Representatives

2007: Google’s YouTube was hiring six advertising sales representatives, all based in different parts of the U.S.

First Results Of Google’s Newspaper Ad Test Published

2007: About 1,000 visitors came from the ad, which generated 70% less page views than the PPC counterpart, 30% less time spent on the site than the PPC counterpart, but the registration rate (his goal) was about the same as the PPC counterpart. Background: Google Newspaper Ads Run Again

Microsoft’s Advertises On Google

2007: When Microsoft paid to advertise its search engine on a competitor.

Site Diagnostics Bug In Google AdSense Control Panel

2007: A robots.txt error was displaying errors based on Google’s cache URL, not publisher URLs.

Send A Greeting With Google Maps

2007: This fun and cool service let “geeks show they care.”

Best | top | most popular Search Engine Land stories of the year

Early January is a good time to take a final look back at the most popular stories from the past year. Check out what stories earned the most pageviews and social love in prior years:

4 ways data analysis can help you generate new ideas and optimize your content

2022: If your competitors outrank you, there’s probably a good reason for it. At SMX Next, Ashley Segura shared how she uses data analysis to discover those reasons, along with fresh content ideas that can help you close the gap.

Community experts on what successful marketers will do in 2020

Past contributions from Search Engine Land’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. 

< January 2 | Search Marketing History | January 4 >

New on Search Engine Land

About the author

Danny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin is Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & SMX. In addition to writing daily about SEO, PPC, and more for Search Engine Land, Goodwin also manages Search Engine Land’s roster of subject-matter experts. He also helps program our conference series, SMX – Search Marketing Expo.

Prior to joining Search Engine Land, Goodwin was Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal, where he led editorial initiatives for the brand. He also was an editor at Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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