Bob Tedeschi with a lengthy article about legitmate businesses being "outbid for top search listings by unscrupulous and perhaps fraudulent e-tailers."
From the article:
"Search engines make money off of the bad boys," said Carrie A. Johnson, a retail analyst with Forrester Research, a technology consulting firm. Retailers with more established reputations "get mad at the search engines for letting this go on," Ms. Johnson said, "but frankly, Google and Overture have almost no incentive to do anything about it." Google and Overture are the leading providers of search technology for their own and others' Web sites.
A Google spokesman declined to say whether the company had ever dropped advertisers for bad behavior. Nor would the company disclose details about how it evaluates advertisers. In a statement, the company said it would "diligently enforce" violations of its advertising terms and conditions. Among other things, those terms bar advertisers from engaging in any "illegal or fraudulent business practice under the laws of any state or country where the ad is displayed. Ms. Johnson, of Forrester, remains skeptical. "You can't rely on the search sites to be the watchdogs," she said. "It's like having the robber mind the store. Why would they send up a red flag if the sites they're flagging are paying the most?"