So, even though Microsoft categorically denies doing anything of any sort, I and many of you know that most of what Microsoft does is usually through 3rd parties like SocialChorus that are contracted to take all of the blame for Microsoft in the event that they say something wrong or get caught doing something wrong. And as long as there’s no smoking gun, Microsoft is basically off the hook. So, it came as no surprise that Microsoft got caught trying to pay people for positive posts about Internet Explorer, a browser that is already on its way up from being considered the bottom feeder of the IT world.
However, TechCrunch recently discovered that a Twitter employee (and someone I follow on Twitter) recently stated that Microsoft tried to get him to post positive things about IE for money. As did Michael Arrington, one of the founding members of TechCrunch until he moved on to ‘bigger and better’ things.
Today Microsoft offered to pay me to blog about Internet Explorer. There’s not enough bitcoin in the world..
— Paul Stamatiou (@Stammy) June 17, 2014
So, naturally, Microsoft denied any wrongdoing and stated, “action by a vendor is not representative of the way Microsoft works with bloggers or other members of the media,” and that the “program has been suspended.”
But the truth is that Google has already caught on to what Microsoft has been doing and has notified both Microsoft and SocialChorus that they are investigating the manner and could penalize them for having done so. In fact, Google have penalized themselves for posting Chrome ads on Google and as a result for quite a bit of time Chrome was essentially impossible to search on Google. Sure, this is a merely procedural thing and Google will never fully block their own products from being seen, but you get the point. There is a very high chance Google could penalize both SocialChorus and Microsoft for having partaken in these activities and could result in more of a negative impact for IE than if they just let people use it and realize how much better it has gotten. I know I definitely like using it more now than I ever have in the past. (no, I did not get paid to say that)