Google News removed a website from its index

On Tuesday, Google News officials quickly removed a website from its search index, which had contracted with a local water district, in producing promotional stories “written in the image of real news.”

The move was a response to a Los Angeles Times article about the strange agreement between the Central Basin Municipal Water District and a consulting firm affiliated with the news website, News Hawks Review. Under the deal, the water district, a public agency based in southeast L.A. County, paid virtually $200,000 to the firm so that they would publish positive articles that emerged on Google News.