rlange - 8:55 pm on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)
This is getting off-topic and I apologize in advance, but...
No, here's the thing: Google is supposedly a search engine, not an ad engine.
I'm sorry; I thought the popular wisdom was that Google was an advertising company first and a search engine second. Is that true, or just more venom spewed in moments of frustration? Do we get to decide which one of these is Google's priority when it's convenient to our argument?
The implication of the word "search" is people are looking for something so they enter a query and expect a nonpartisan, unpaid, relevant result in the organics. And they rightfully expect the organic results to be front & center.
Do they? Are there one or more studies that I can aquaint myself with which spell out the average search user's expectations, or are we all just projecting our own expectations onto the nameless masses and hoping no one notices?
I agree with you that webmasters are certainly not the primary focus, but we should be a secondary focus.
Not even secondary; tertiary. Before us comes the average user and the people who give them the money to stay in business. No audience? No business. No money? No business. A slightly smaller index of webpages? Meh.
As I said earlier, with every update Google pushes the organics down (or slightly diminishes their prominence) [...]
This isn't even true, as I've seen a number of complaints about top organic results getting huge site links and various other "special" treatment that makes them stand out more than others.
[...] so with the organics continuing to be less prominant with every change, Google is not respecting either audience, except for one: the money audience which is to say, the stockholder dividends and employee bonuses.
Then why are they displaying your Google+ friends under search results that those same friends +1'd? That certainly can't be for the stockholders' benefit.
My argument has to do with the clear & consistent trend that we see at Google, which is to minimize or even erase the perception between organics and paid. It's purposely tricky & duplicitous [...]
This is rather subjective. Personally, the recent change to the background color on the top ads separates them from the organic results even more than they used to be. I can now more easily skip over them without accidentally clicking on one (which, yes, I have done in the past).