Google.com, who last week took home the Webby’s Best Practices prize –a new and singular award that honors overall excellence–finds itself singled out again, this time for its integrity in managing sponsored placements on its search engine. At the same time, eight other search engines find themselves under increased scrutiny for mixing paid and editorial placement. At issue: users’ ability to discern relevant results from an increasingly huge and complex web. J.D. Lasica offers a particularly good read on the subject at Online Journalism Review.

Meanwhile, Google continues to improve the interface and add functionality to its recently-purchased Deja News service [which included more than a terabyte of messages] and has added Zeitgeist, an informative and often amusing looking glass on the world of web search.

Simple, fast, reliable… and accountable. Best practices, indeed.

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