The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 April 2003

Google's Kinda Like News

Last weekend The Register broke the story that Google News was actually accepting press releases from nonprofits and from corporate PR departments and passing them off as, well, news; some of you may have read about it here.

It gets worse. The Register has now determined that Google, far from allowing some presumably independent computer program to select its news links, is actually selling them, and the company is looking to hire someone to, um, "develop...relationships with news sources." And this, mind you, while Google maintains that placement on the Google News page is selected by computer.

I don't have a particular problem with paid links, so long as they are clearly identified as such; however, I would be much happier (as would The Register) if Google would spell out its policy on these things in something resembling plain English.

Posted at 7:31 AM to PEBKAC