Google will control more and more of the media, likely getting mainstream. For example now we have smart TVs it doesn't take a genius to work out that we will likely see an Android OS any time on these.
Doubt it, everywhere they re trying to get in they are failing and meeting resistance. They can push webmasters around but not the big boys. They were forced to pay $12.5 billion to try to defend Android and it is not even over yet.Google would not make had it started this year, they are way behind in everything. Even FB has better data-centers now and the hottest online products are non-Google. But they played the users perfectly this past decade, and now are milking it to death, probably even selling their users' underwear info. That money allows them to experiment and to try to kill competition.
The penality should be for pages they check, how can someone say there is something wrong with your whole site after a manual check of 3 or 4 pages.
The Panda penalty, as whatson explained take down your entire site and I think it freezes people out of the best keywords. I see it and suggy saw it too. You may rank on some extraordinary pages but that's because they have many links and are way above competition.
It's a penalty for lack of better word, but the consensus seems to be it is an algorithm that checks certain criteria, if you do not meet the standard then your site will suffer from reduced rankings, which is essentially a penalty.
It almost certainly checks how users interact with the pages. The trick is that your traffic is horrible after being hit by Panda and you get traffic for "cheap widgets with yellow ribbons" when you just mention yellow ribbons on your "cheap widgets" page. Obviously many click back. So they send you bad traffic and then penalize your entire site for it, when all they know is that the page might not be an ideal match for the keyword they sent. It's almost criminal, I hope they pay for it one way or another.
The first line of the algo must start with the equivalent of "If not a brand...."