At the organizational level, Google is essentially chaos. 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. I don't think there's even a mechanism for shifting priorities like that.
If true it explains some of the peculiarities of G. Lots of things going on simultaneously. Some interesting stuff, like Google Street View, that wouldn't have been signed off in a traditional military style central-command type co. Other times some really odd stuff that doesn't work.
Also - no idea how the change in CEO is impacting their culture. Maybe Page is more of a control freak than that Schmidt guy. It's hard to tell as they are quite a secretive co. But my impression was always that g was the anti-apple - instead of being dominated by a single incredibly strong viewpoint, it's more diffuse.
But others on this forum probably know more about this than I do. Perhaps they'll chip in with their opinions.