Google News Prank Confirmed; News Source Removed From News Index

Nathan Weinberg reports that I Newswire, a free press release distribution service has been removed from the Google News index after releasing a false press release submitted by a teenager. The 15-year-old teenager, Thomas Vendetta, wrote a press release prank, saying that Google hired him. The news got digged and then the prank was uncovered when the teenager confessed at his blog. Information Week reports, "the distributor of the release has been removed as a source for the automated news service."

I covered a Search Engine Watch thread named Press Release Spam back in May of 2005. Some of the press release distributors seem to be getting better. But as more and more press release distribution companies get into the business, it becomes a bigger and bigger issue for news search.