walkman - 6:46 pm on Sep 16, 2011 (gmt 0) [edited by: walkman at 6:55 pm (utc) on Sep 16, 2011]
And yep, the 'comparison' tool is somewhat new I think (<12 months?)
Relatively new and it comes on top of everything with as many as six site links, without needing to bid of course. Google was brilliant about it too, first they penalized all such sites then made an offer to buy a penalized site.
Reminds me of one of the richest Romans back in the day, he was the fire chief and would let the buildings burn and burn until the owner agreed to sell it. The more it burned the lower the price of course. Once the deal was reached the firemen would shut the fire down. Google un-penalized them too, two weeks after. Maybe the 'spam team' decided that there was enough punishment for them, er Google.
Ethics play no part of course because it's all math.
The first Roman fire brigade of which we have any substantial history was created by Marcus Licinius Crassus. Marcus Licinius Crassus was born into a wealthy Roman family around the year 115 BC, and acquired an enormous fortune through (in the words of Plutarch) "fire and rapine." One of his most lucrative schemes took advantage of the fact that Rome had no fire department. Crassus filled this void by creating his own brigade—500 men strong—which rushed to burning buildings at the first cry of alarm. Upon arriving at the scene, however, the fire fighters did nothing while their employer bargained over the price of their services with the distressed property owner. If Crassus could not negotiate a satisfactory price, his men simply let the structure burn to the ground, after which he offered to purchase it for a fraction of its value.
[edited by: walkman at 6:55 pm (utc) on Sep 16, 2011]