From today’s New York Times article, Time Warner to Sell 5% AOL Stake to Google for $1 Billion:
If a user searches on Google for a topic for which AOL has content – like information about Madonna – there will be a special section on the bottom right corner of the search results page with links to AOL.com.
Google will also provide technical assistance so AOL can create Web pages that will appear more prominently in the search results list.
Time Warner asked Microsoft to give AOL similar preferred placement in advertising and in its Web index and… Microsoft refused, calling the request unethical.
Nietzsche distinguishes between good/bad and good/evil. The first is a question of merit; the second a question of morals.
I guess Google believes exchanging preferred placement and teaching one selected partner how to manipulate your objective ranking system in exchange for money is “bad,” but not “evil.” Therefore, it doesn’t break their promise of “don’t be evil.”
In comparison, Microsoft, by using the term “unethical,” clearly sees this as both “bad” and “evil.” It’s interesting how the DOJ can help you find God.