It's not true, just link bait.
Metacafe, a search and ranking system for videos, just surpassed $1,000,000 in shared revenue with its content creators. Mike reports that Revver also hit the $1,000,000 in shared revenue this year as well.
I've been critical of Google's attack on content providers who solicit payment for link placement. Michael Graywolf has as well… he's also taking major websites to task for caving to the Google Powers-That-Be.
Google claims that it's simply trying to maintain its organic search results truly organic. The gray area of Google Terms of Service continue to blur, though. Most recently, Matt Cutts may have suggested that ALL links in a sponsored post must also be properly labeled with nofollow tags – not just the paid link provider.
As one of those ‘content providers', I tend to view paid links a little differently. Just as Metacafe and Revver have recognized that they do not have a viable business without the associated providers, perhaps Google should as well.
If Google was serious about eliminating paid links, then they should share the revenue for my organic content that they are profiting from (by tagging with their own sponsored links). Why not pay me for the volume of great content that I allow Google to provide users with?
Google does not own the Internet, folks. It's your content, not Google's. We're so busy scurrying to get Google's attention half the time that we tend to forget this. Google's done a masterful job in positioning themselves ‘above' everyone else on the net.
Perhaps it's time for a new Search Engine with a new business model?