bw100 - 1:47 am on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)
... someone from the organic team makes an unambiguous statement that their team does not even have an income related KPI to use in evaluating the effectiveness of their algo changes.
I could believe that the organic team does not have access to this data. It would probably serve as a distraction for their core mission.
But ... KPIs are fundamental business metrics. Some team at Google is monitoring the effects of all the changes that are made. It's just good, fundamental business,and Google is not generating their current margins without being aware of this metric. To suggest otherwise would be non-credible. There is just too much talent at too many levels there to believe that no one at Google knows what is happening.
Company-internal data compartmentalization, and plausible deniability for many departments are fairly standard business practices. I conjecture that if we "drill up" far enough, those with access to these metrics will be evident.
After all these years, if the official statements were bald-face lies, wouldn't some engineer, present or past, have spilled the beans and leaked the story?
And therein lies one of the flaws of our thinking: engineer. Most Google discussion and company reference focuses and obsesses about the Google engineers. But, there are plenty of just-as-brilliant, non-engineer, business-types on the Google staff, and these are the staff and teams that are charged, at some level, with evaluating and measuring the impact of the changes, and suggesting appropriate income-related actions.