I've been thinking about the latest Google update mess. Whether you agree or not, there are a considerable number of people who consider the latest update to be feeding spammy, poor quality results.
As a webmaster, if you think Google isn't the best search engine, you have a voice you can use by linking to other search engines and, for example, providing an ATW search box on your sites to build brand for a competitor.
My question is: would Google see that you are promoting a rival engine and give you a penalty?
Google would have to penalize DMOZ under such a model!
Certainly, they could tell you're linking to another engine. But for all the alledged problems w/ Dominic, Google never has been petty like that. Frankly, I don't think the market would support petty stuff like that. So I wouldn't worry about it.