Hundreds of bloggers were bribed to write posts promoting Google Chrome in recent weeks. The scandal is only worsened by Google's excuse: The whole scheme was dreamed up by the company it hired to help make things popular on the web.

You might want to clear some space on your desk for your forehead before reading any further.

Professional Google obsessive Danny Sullivan revealed yesterday that the web was littered with more than 400 mostly vapid blog posts touting Google Chrome and declaring themselves "sponsored by Google." At least one of the posts helped juice Google Chrome's search engine rankings, in direct violation of Google's own guidelines. And a great many more of the posts were, as Sullivan put it, garbage, reading like they were assembled by computer algorithm.

Google's reply? It blamed the ad agencies it hired, including Unruly, which touts its ability to make web videos popular, and Essence Digital, which helps clients navigate the world of pay-per-click advertising.

One might think the operator of the world's most popular video site and pay-per-click advertising scheme would have some in-house expertise on such matters. But then, maybe Google's experts have better things to do. Building the world's largest internet borg is one thing; having to actually use it is something entirely different.

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