"Hill thought that seemed like a big story, so she contacted Google's PR shop for confirmation. Google essentially confirmed the story, and so Hill ran with it under the headline: "Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Suffers.""
""I was told by my higher-ups at Forbes that Google representatives called them saying that the article was problematic and had to come down. The implication was that it might have consequences for Forbes, a troubling possibility given how much traffic came through Google searches and Google News.""
Ugh. Google was reportedly throwing their search traffic weight around.
You just did, in what followed that comment.
It is a big story still. It sounds illegal.
Edit: Thanks guys for the criticism about using the word hearsay in this context. I'll never use it that way again, pinky promise.
When someone writes a story about someone else's experience, that's not "hearsay," that's just "journalism." You may not think this story sounds credible, but if so you should come up with a different reason than "this is a story about someone else's experience therefore it's unreliable."
And anyway, you can just read the original article written by the person who experienced this, if you want to circumvent the "hearsay" thing: http://gizmodo.com/yes-google-uses-its-power-to-quash-ideas-...
The issue I have with the article, referring my toothless remark, is this part
>told me that I needed to unpublish the story because the meeting had been confidential, and the information discussed there had been subject to a non-disclosure agreement between Google and Forbes. (I had signed no such agreement, hadn’t been told the meeting was confidential, and had identified myself as a journalist.)
So no one told you that the meeting was confidential, it was, and they asked you to take it down.
Then from the article you posted:
>Somehow, very quickly, search results stopped showing the original story at all.
Pics or it didn't happen.
Then you follow through to see no proof anywhere. "Bandwagoning" as I said previously, on how this other group lost funding for criticizing Google. Then an email confirming the NDA and that Forbes willingly took down the article.
The whole time this person has no evidence or proof of these things actually occurring. Saying things like "it stopped showing up in search" "I couldn't find it in the cache" "no one told me there was an NDA" "I heard Google say the +1 button helped your rank" all lack any ability to verify.
Journalists love to journal, though. So let's continue with this gossip.
Right, me too. I can't find Google doing anything wrong here. The article was under NDA so Forbes and Google took it down willingly.
No proof of the +1 statement. No proof of Google censoring the article. We have no story here.
Unprovable accusations don't help your side of the fight, though. Even if they hint at something that is true.
I think first-hand accounts of conversations should count for something. I know it's not as good as a recording, but journalists frequently report on verbal answers to their questions.