Recently it was pointed out to me that YouTube has a section for high profile US politicians. Looking at the individual profile pages you can see inconsistent implementation, where some politicians are given straight links and others aren't.
here's a list of who's getting a direct link on the masthead banner without a rel=nofollow tag
Here's a list of politicians who have banners that aren't linked at all
So here's the question is YouTube taking cash and providing straight text links, probably not. What we probably have is a "programming oversight". However since we were recently encouraged to report people we thought were selling links I thought it was only fair to shine a spotlight back in Google's direction. The core of the issue is without looking at YouTube's books I have absolutely no idea if those links were paid for or not, the best I can do is take an educated guess. If best I can do is guess how is google's text link selling detection algo going to be any more accurate. This isn't the first time we've seen one part of Google doing something the other part thinks is wrong in fact once you reach a certain size it becomes almost inevitable. So I expect we'll see this fixed within the next 24 hours and it will all be swept under the carpet. But just imagine if it wasn't YouTube that was being narced on, what if it was you, would you get the same treatment, or would the punishment be a little more harsh, and how would you even know you had been accused of a "google crime".
Editors note: Umm Hey Google what's with the title tags on all those youtube pages being exactly the same?
Editors note II: Let's keep the merits or lack of merits of any of the political candidates out of this discussion. Lets keep the focus on Google and how they expect to police the web when they can't even keep their own house in order.