Since we're discussing this aspect of philosophy now running the Google algo, I need to say this because it's key.
Schmidt always said trust is what Google is built on. Without trust they are nothing. He said. It came from his lips. His lips are no longer running the corporation. Is trust really that key ingredient or has is dipped to say, #2 priority?
Trust I would agree with Schmidt is what Google was built upon. I don't think secretly he has changed from that belief. However, all I'm reading, with the odd exception, is that people are certainly less trusting now with Google than ever before. I've been watching this closely. It's the aspect of Google that's slipping. The trust. If you listen on these forums, it's clear.
I'm the person that once you've lost my trust, I'm pretty much never trusting again. Do I trust my rankings today with Google? Not a chance. Do I think my sites are good? Value added definitely.
My mindset is changing by the week. It's a mindset that says, okay, now what?