Google Looks At Apparent IE Sponsored Post Spam

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Tech blogger/investor Michael Arrington revealed that someone who claimed to be a "social strategist on behalf of Microsoft" tried to get him to write about Internet Explorer for payment.

The message he got says:

Hi Michael,

I work as a social strategist on behalf of Microsoft, and I wanted to invite you to collaborate on a sponsored post opportunity for Internet Explorer.

We love your aesthetic and blogging style, and think you'd be the perfect partner to spread the word on the new Internet Explorer browsing experience!

The new Internet Explorer is a brand new experience with many different features. This reworked Internet Explorer lets you search smarter and do more with its cool new features, such as multitasking, pinnable sites, and full-screen browsing.

In this program, we are looking to spread the word about the new Internet Explorer web experience in a cool, visual way, which is where you come in! Internet Explorer has teamed up with many partners in gaming, entertainment, and more, and we'd love to see you talk about your opinions on these collaborations.

If you accept our invitation to work on this program, we would like for you to write a blog post by July 10th, in addtion to sharing links to the new Internet Explorer across your social channels.

Compesnsation for this post is available, and there will also be ample opportunities for fun prizes and rewards throughout the duration of the program.

To learn all about the details of this program, please visit this page (

I look forward to working together.

As Arrington notes, "This is just layers of stupid."

This is, after all, the founder of TechCrunch, who has referred to people being paid to shill products on their blogs as "pollution" in the past.

When Arrington responded, asking if this was real, they replied that they weren't sure how Arrington wound up on the list, and "Go TechCrunch!"

The URL in the message has since been taken offline, and Google is even investigating what could be webpspam from its biggest competitor.

Google's Matt Cutts tweeted:

He was then in contact with SocialChorus program strategist Gregg Hanano.

As you may recall, Google actually had to penalize its own Chrome browser a while back for pretty much the same thing. The story there was that an outside agency was soliciting such posts on the company's behalf.

It doesn't look like Internet Explorer has suffered such a penalty so far.

Of course, Google's competition with Microsoft adds a whole other layer to this. Microsoft is a big part of the FairSearch lobbying group that constantly tries to see antitrust regulation brought against Google.

To be continued...

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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