walkman - 11:49 pm on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
IMO yes. It's the same effect as high PR in the early days, when high PR sites ranked for everything, no matter how irrelevant. But this time Google is much smarter, and IMO it's done for a different reason (survival of their company and stock) and it will get worse as time goes by. Google is building a Home Depot, Macys, Sears, JcPenney and Walmart, ShopRite* in every town with a few lines of code.
Is Google taking the Internet down the same path?
In real life you had a 2-3 year advance notice from the announcement, site selection, approvals, town meeting...petitions...and not all stores would open in one town, but Google needs no approval, nor is it running for office again. Most people have chosen elected them 'for life' and even if they notice a bad thing here and there they are forgiving. Even if their approval rate drops a bit it's OK, as long more money is being made. If it gets to bad they can always change a bit, meanwhile they are making a fortune even as market share stays the same or diminishes.
*edited to add: and users aren't even getting the cheapest items since for now Google organic search is blind to prices and relevancy suffers drastically when brand powers is turned too much. So you get the worst of both worlds.