More on Google's quasi-Faustian deal with AOL: The NYT clarifies yesterday's story.

Google also agreed to provide technical assistance to AOL to help explain how to make its pages easier for Google - and other search engines - to find and include in its index of the Web. Google has provided similar information for other large Web sites, according to Kevin Lee, executive chairman of Did-it, a search marketing firm. In general, Google will offer an engineer who recites publicly available technical information on how Google's search engine evaluates Web sites.
This paragraph is not exactly a model of clarity but it seems that yesterday's assertion that "Google will ... provide technical assistance so AOL can create Web pages that will appear more prominently in the search results list" was inaccurate. There's a big difference between being included in Google's index (its database of billions of web pages) and learning to do well in its page rankings (the hierarchy that determines whether a particular web page appears at the top of Google search results or on the seventeenth page).

It's still annoying that we're going to have to see graphics ads on Google just so Google can prevent Microsoft from partnering with AOL.