Google has officially "jumped the shark" [en.wikipedia.org]
April 16, 2007 [nytimes.com], Google signs deal with Clear Channel communications.
Clear Channel's websites are one of the largest and most powerful networks of sites that obviously sell links.
I'd like to be a fly on the wall of that meeting when G says,
"Hey new advertising partner, that we need to grow our business. You need to enact a policy that will cut your own profits because we have a conflict of interest and can't control our results."
"Hey Google board of directors, if we truly implement our bought links measures, a large percentage of our SERPs for recognized and brand name companies are going to go missing.
And we're going to upset alot of powerful companies who spend fortunes on adwords.
But wait, we can use obvious selective downgrading of paid links for Fortune 1000 companies and open ourselves up to individual and class-action lawsuits.
Personally, I love the idea.
Jump that shark G!
They've let the genie out of the bottle to the remaining webmasters who actually thought G was a "kind-hearted" company.
And those of you who mistaken believe that your mom-and-pop website will now have a chance to rank?
Those sites with adequate budgets will simply use less detectable ways of buying links.
Increasing the gap between have and have-nots.
Do you seriously believe that a Fortune 1000 company with a million dollar internet advertising budget (or any serious company who's already buying links) isn't simply going to pay the extra premium to get "personal reviews", even more PR releases, or whatever high-priced alternative to getting links that G finds acceptable?!