It sounded good while it lasted. But in its desperation to keep AOL from crossing over to the Microsoft camp, Google has finally lost its virginity. AOL will be helped with securing favourable placement in Google's search results by getting the inside track on how to optimize web pages for Google's algorithm. And it will place links to AOL videos in the Google Video Search homepage that will not be marked as advertising.
The New York Times, bringer of these bad tidings (registration required), even claims that Microsoft when it was faced with exactly the same demands "refused, calling the request unethical."
Sic transit gloria mundi virtualis.