anallawalla - 9:23 am on Feb 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
I concluded that this wasn't news. Elsewhere you will have read that they spend $2.4M each month on AdWords and no matter what anyone says, if JCP stopped their ads, some AdWords sales manager somewhere would be calling the 'plex asking for help. It doesn't mean they'll get their #1 spots back, but they would have an acceptable path to the top again as if the paid links never happened.
Even when you are at a tenth or 20th of that spend level, your execs will suddenly find themselves attending events and swapping business cards with sales Googlers, so passing on a message to MC becomes easier.
For Google, this is just a normal outcome of dealing with paid links; the fact that a well-known brand was involved helps with publicity and the removal of practices that the SEO customer isn't aware of and would probably not approve if they knew the risk.
Incidentally, I registered at NYT (free) years ago and I assume it is still free if you register. It's definitely worth getting, since people are sharing NYT links all the time. I have not had any intrusive emails from them.