talismon - 8:39 pm on Jul 26, 2010 (gmt 0)
Google absolutely hand edits Serps, in the form of penalties. This happened recently when they tested the new layout for local search. Several sites that had pages targeting local terms with relevant info were dinged. So when their 'quality testers' find something that doesn't align with an algo tweak (in this case showing companies with a physical location), they hand edit by applying penalties.
Even if your pages and content are relevant, informative, and non-spammy they will still edit the results to ensure their algo updates are working properly.