An innovative use of Google

From today’s New York Times

It seems that Kenneth L. Lay, the former Enron chairman who faces trial next January on fraud charges, has paid Google, the online search service, to place ads next to or above searches about Enron and related topics and direct people to a site that gives his side of the story.

The links also appear in searches involving the bylines of some reporters, like Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle and Kurt Eichenwald of The New York Times. A quick check of the Google “AdWords” site suggests that Mr. Lay pays about $25 a day for linking ads to the searches. Every time someone uses Google to search for sites about “Ken Lay” or “Enron,” among other terms, and then clicks on the link to the site, that click costs Mr. Lay a little less than a dime. His case hasn’t yet gone to trial, but he’s trying to score points in the court of public opinion, and he’s willing to pay for it.