In other words, Google's metrics must indicate that the user intention for the query is essentially navigational. ... and ... This means that google is actually not a search engine.
I wonder how much this decision is prompted by the fact that a significant portion of the surfing public opens their browser with Google, then types the URL they want into Google -- rather than the browser address bar -- so from Google's POV, that portion of the public must think they ARE the internet. Much like the public's perception of AOL in the old days.
But I'll tell ya', they're coming across as a company that is throwing spaghetti at the wall, to see what sticks. Try this, try that. There was a time when they had a focus, stuck to it, and drove the company to the top. Now there is something new on a regular basis and I wonder if this change of attitude will come back to haunt them. The non-geek public wants familiarity, simplicity, quality choices, and trust ~ will/can Google still deliver that? or as some postings here suggest, has manipulation for the sake of profit moved to the front of the line? If so, they should call Steve Case to see how far a company can fall, and how quickly.