CNET gets a measure of revenge

The tech and Google-obsessed crowds have chewed over the Google-CNET dispute to the point of exhaustion. To briefly recap, Google has decided to blackball CNET reporters until July 2006 in retaliation for a story CNET wrote pointing out potential privacy issues with Google’s desktop search product. Now, in retaliation for Google’s talk-to-the-hand treatment, CNET appears to be using the search engine against itself. In every story about Google it has published in the past three weeks, CNET has added this disclaimer: “Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story,” with a link to the offending CNET story. The effect? Thanks to the links and others from bloggers, CNET has used Google’s own PageRank formula, which uses link popularity to determine search results, to push the story Google is upset about up to No. 3 in Google’s own rankings for “Google privacy issues” queries.

—Posted by Brian Morrissey