Google’s archilles’ heel is its dependence on links to indicate authority of a website. Which is why it makes so much noise about paid links, whereas the other search engines don’t really care.
The newest fracas came about as a result of the formation of a new company that promises to connect link buyers with link sellers. Predictably, this brought out Matt Cutts, Google’s part time mouthpiece and full time web spam engineer, who denounced the practice as illegal or some such thing. In response, others like Jeremy Schoemaker, of Shoemoney fame, called out Google’s hypocrisy in the whole thing. It’s illegal when others do it, but when Google does it, and it still does it till this day, it’s not illegal.
I think everyone knows that Google is no longer the company it set out to be a few years ago. There is widespread sentiment that it’s now a monopoly abusing its power and engaging in the same bullying tactics we saw from Microsoft in its heyday.