aristotle - 8:34 pm on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)
So yes, these kinds of Instant results would have been potentially defamatory (borderline slander, I'd say, but IANAL) and IMO they should have been removed a long time ago. In fact, there was an evolving black-hat attack vector on a competitor's reputation: performing such searches in bulk, and of course, with certain stealth precautions to get around the Google safeguards.
Tedster - I understand why you support what Google is doing here. I just wonder if it's partly a reponse to complaints from big corportaions and/or advertisers. Anyway, it's apparently a manual intervention, therefore a departure from Google's philosophy of letting everything be determined by algorithms. And it could lead to more censorship in the future.