The latest bit of Google paranoia revolves around the Google weblog being the most popular search result for the word 'weblog'. Again, lets do a simple test: The Google weblog has PageRank 7. For lack of a better ranking system, I looked at Bloglines' 'most popular blogs' list. The top listings on Bloglines above 'Google Weblog' (which is ranked 6th on Bloglines) are Slashdot, Wired News, Bloglines' own information feed, Boing Boing's and CNet. Of these, Bloglines, Slashdot, CNet and Wired only have hits for the phrase 'Weblog' on pages of ranks less than 7. Boing Boing best hit for 'Weblog' has a page rank of 7. I know there are link cluster ordering going on in Google search results (otherwise Amazon's many product pages would be much less frequent than they are in search results), but still: The returned results are explainable merely by resorting to page rank ordering. The page rank 7 for Google weblog is completely inconspicuous. Plenty of sites have rank 7 and it would be a very odd rank to forcibly promote a page to.
In short, I think Dan Gillmor, Microdoc News, and (surprise!) Dave Winer are just plain wrong. Conspiracies are so very tempting.