Is Google selling mobile phones?

September, 23, 2009

Here in France, we had this morning a funny surprise during our first request to Google France. Indeed, the homepage presents this small sentence under the search box “Nouveau! Le téléphone HTC Magic est disponible. En savoir Plus”. This litterally means  “New! The telephone HTC Magic is available. To know more about it “, with a link to this this page of


On the target page, a cool picture of the HTC Magic Android, and 2 links to a SFR (the third  French mobile phone company – 19 million clients, including over 3 million using 3G technology, according to wikipedia) webpage that allows to buy this phone together with a cell phone plan.

Android is really some good stuff, and I guess that the HTC as well, but I really wanted to say “pwned“. You could ask me why? here is a few reasons:

  1. I always thought that Google was not to put advertisement on its webpage. But since Chrome I know how wrong I was.
  2. I always thought that in case a link is done for commercial reasons, it must use the Nofollow attribute. Is this the case here? Maybe I missed something, but I don’t think so. By the way, it looks like Google is making affiliate links for SFR…
  3. I always thought that it is mandatory to clearly states that an ad is an ad (even if “by google”) 😉

Anyway, a real and useful comment for Google: your intermediate page does not give information on the product, and the SFR webpage is too much of a selling page to give really accurate technical information about the phone.

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Picture: courtesy of Abby Blank