crobb305 - 1:16 am on May 8, 2011 (gmt 0)
Well I see those companies at 1, 2 and 4 right now in Google.com for 'mothers day flowers'.
The increase in rankings/traffic that NYT thinks they uncovered during the month of February also coincides with Panda. We all know that some sites saw significant improvements as a result of Panda, and that is probably what happened in this case.
I get the impression from the article that Google is trying to politely tell NYT to back off, that they can handle it, without malicious and public tattletaling. Despite the "in essence" paraphrasing by NYT, I think Google will be very subtle about penalty here (if any). If Google keeps responding the way they did with JCP and others outed by NYT, it will continue to give impetus for sabotage and tattletaling that will spiral out of control. Someone is working in cahoots with NYT to make these sites and Google look bad. I am happy to see the pages are still ranking; perhaps now, NYT will find more newsworthy topics.