Google stops indexing water district's 'news stories'

Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that a consultant for the Central Basin Municipal Water District has been writing promotion pieces disguised as news and posting them on News Hawks Review, a website that looks like a legitimate news outlet. Stories about Central Basin have been coming up in Google News searches, but search engine officials put a stop to that after the Times story came out.

A Google spokesman said in a statement to The Times that News Hawks Review had violated its guidelines and would no longer appear in Google News searches. The spokesman did not elaborate on the specifics of the violation.

A spokeswoman for the water district refused to comment on Google's move as did the principal for the consulting firm, which was paid $200,000 to write and post the "news stories."

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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