I Guess We Have Google's Answer: Search Results Are No Longer Sacred
Google has finally broken its silence on the Don't Be Evil Toolbar/Search Plus Your World scandal with Google Fellow and search chief Amit Singhal granting an exclusive interview to Danny Sullivan. If you haven't read it, go do so now.
The interview is great, as everything Sullivan writes about Google is. But I wish we'd gotten a clear answer on the question I've been asking all week: Has Google changed its stance stated clearly back in 2005 in its S-1, that Eric Schmidt said in his testimony before Congress and that is still listed as one of its "Ten Things We Know to Be True" on the site today, namely that it will not meddle with search results? That Google's "users trust our objectivity and no short-term gain could ever justify breaching that trust"?
By not answering it, when given the platform in an article addressing this very issue, I can only assume the answer is yes. Particularly given that Singhal says that "real users" liked the changes, and the rest of us loud-mouthed bloggers should just give it some time.
The rules have clearly changed: Google is now reserving the right to change search results to bolster its other business lines. Don't expect otherwise.