Microsoft drops paid inclusion for search results
According to this story over at Wired, both Microsoft and Ask Jeeves have removed paid inclusion links from their search engine results. This doesn't mean that the two sites won't show clearly-marked sponsored links, though. Paid inclusion is a different beast:
Unlike paid-placement programs, paid inclusion does not guarantee a top ranking in search results, only that a site will appear in a search engine's index; after that, the normal ranking algorithms are supposed to apply.
In the grand scheme of things, paid inclusion may only be a minor issue. Sites that pay to be included in a search engine's index are still ranked by the same algorithms, so there appears to be little concern that paid inclusion could taint search results.