Does Al Gore’s position on Google’s senior advisory board have any bearing? In Al’s bio at http://www.algore.com/about.html he says:
“A member of the Board of Directors of Apple Computer, Inc. and a Senior Advisor to Google, Inc. Gore is also Visiting Professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.”
It seems he has done some “advising” of Google’s search quality in the past. Here’s a story from the New Yorker via Newsbusters about that very subject. There is some history there that has some bearing on the current situation.