freejung - 8:05 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)
OK, I've had lunch and calmed down a bit -- Walkman, I'm sorry for being so pedantic, but I'm trying to make a point that I really feel is important.
You can't just go around believing things because they are "common sense" or they "stand to reason" or they are "obvious to reasonable people." All sorts of destructive ideas get propagated that way. You need to base your conclusions on evidence - and in this case the evidence isn't there.
There are plenty of other areas where Google has abused their position of power. This is not about the "don't be evil" thing. You're right, they abused their control of the Android platform, there's plenty of evidence for that. There have been serious, substantive accusations that they've abused their monopolistic power in other areas as well. They're not saints, they sometimes do things that are morally wrong. This isn't about that.
This is about a specific technical issue: is adwords a direct ranking factor in the organic search algo? The idea that it is comes up a lot, but I've never seen credible evidence that it is actually the case. There are plenty of arguments as to why it might be in Google's best interest to do that, although I disagree with that too. I think they're smarter than that - the con they're running is a very long con, not a get-rich-quick scheme. But there hasn't been any direct evidence, any statistical analysis, even any seriously credible anecdotal evidence, that they actually do this.
Once you start believing things without evidence just because they seem "obvious" or "reasonable," you become susceptible to all kinds of dangerously false ideas. That's why I find this sort of reasoning frustrating. It leads to fuzzy thinking (which is not the same as fuzzy logic). I don't think it's right to go around encouraging that.