crobb305 - 3:51 pm on Feb 7, 2011 (gmt 0)
I think this quote is spot on:
"In search quality in particular, once you've demonstrated that you can do useful stuff on your own, you're pretty much free to work on whatever you think is important."
There are so many different indexes all over the world, probably the result of individual employees "doing their own thing", the entire search is a mess, both in terms of quality and consistency.
I'll also add that unnecessary "improvements" like Google Instant, trying to guess or suggest search phrases throws people off track from their original search. I can't tell you how many times I have started to search for something and ended up reading about completely unrelated material thanks to the silly suggestions. Yeah, that's my fault, because I get sidetracked and lose my train of thought easily, but it seems Google's revenue could suffer because of this. Obviously, I can't prove that, but I can tell from my site stats that since it was implemented, my traffic is down and my bounce rate is up. Clearly, the traffic coming to me from Google is less targeted and very poor quality.
Just a thought.