In a bit of a shock move it would appear that Google have applied a Page Rank penalty on their Japanese domain (www.google.co.jp).
Google Japan was caught out buying links on a blogger review network which is against Google’s own guidelines.
Matt Cutts, who is the head of the Search Quality group in Google, twittered the Japanese version of Google.co.jp was penalized for paying for blogger reviews.
“Google.co.jp PageRank is now ~5 instead of ~9. I expect that to remain for a while.”
He also confirmed it was for a paid link penalty.
While it is good to see Google upholding their guidelines it does appear to be somewhat of a shallow gesture. TechCrunch have already outed Google for purchasing links so they had no real option but to penalise themselves.
Interestingly though Google seem happy enough to allow large companies to continue to use the Digital Point Co-op which is a black hat form of link building, while at the same time waging a war against paid links and artificial link acquisition.