Reno - 6:29 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)
Refined translation: Brands
I agree with this. It will not surprise me one bit if, given recent developments, the next step is for Google to become a kind of "affiliate" for the major brands/stores/services, and just like any other affiliate, will take a cut of any sale that results from a clickthrough. I admit I don't have any evidence I can point to which would confirm this, and don't think those kind of arrangements are in place as of this posting, but if in fact it happens, my gut feeling is that it may be part of their business plan by the 2010 holiday season.
This would not require them giving preferential treatment to those companies -- a complex algo can take care of that on its own, so on the surface, it can look like all is fair. I see this as a predictable step to satisfy the stockholders demands for ever increasing profits, but again, this is pure speculation as to what may be in their pipeline, so we'll have to wait and see how things unfold. Those who say "Google would never do that" are thinking of the Classic Google -- what we're dealing with now is an entirely new lifeform.