achean - 4:29 pm on Mar 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
This could just be misdirection meant to distract from their move to route more traffic internally as reported by the WSJ [online.wsj.com ]. Pre-emptively brand everyone who might complain about loss of traffic as an over-optimizer, so the media focuses on that rather than the fact that Google just carved out another slice of the pie just for itself.
To be clear, it's their algo and their site, so I believe they've got the right to do whatever they want... I just wish they weren't so sanctimonious about it.