An interesting bit of trivia caught my eye...
In the past we've talked about the 100 fabled algo factors, and some of us have expanded that number to 200. If there were 450 improvements last year, either they're revisiting some of these factors a lot... which is possible... or there are many more than 200 factors.
I assume that they're aware of the problem of trying to serve all users, which is why they're also pushing personalization. Both kinds of adjustments make me uncomfortable, though, as they're playing "mind-reader" either way.
Are they going the way of point-and-shoot cameras, where so much is done for you that you have to trick the camera to achieve any sort of manual control? I hope they keep a "manual mode" somewhere in advanced search, at least.
It could be argued that even with manual mode on Google, they're doing quite a bit of mind-reading.