Seattle, WA – June 9, 2010, last night on MSNBC Countdown, Keith Olbermann boldly claimed that BP manipulated the Google search results and bought the Google algorithm for both the sponsored links as well as the “journalistic” content below the sponsored advertising section.
This is typical yellow journalism and sensationalism in action. To be clear, MSNBC and Keith Olbermann are full of crap. For one, paying top dollar for Google Adwords in order to own the top position is not manipulating Google search results. It’s simply paying the price for premium placement. Secondly, Google’s algorithm is not that easily sold. I’m sure that Google has its price, but in this case, I don’t think that anybody who knows and understands search engine optimization (SEO) actually believes that BP bought Google’s algorithm.
MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann is preying on the ignorance of non-SEO experts to sensationalize the story and stoke anger. This is unfortunate because normally I really like MSNBC, its Countdown program and keith Olbermann. But in this case, he simply went too far.