Whitey - 7:10 am on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: Whitey at 7:27 am (utc) on Mar 21, 2012]
Why would Google want to do that?
I don't know , but i recall Eric Schmidt, a while back, saying that Google would be announcing some adjustments in the SERP's that would create some softening of results and growth, in favor of longer term gain. He may be connected in this to his other statement about the "cesspool" of websites that he described.
I'm not sure of the overall strategy, but Google's abilty to control content on their assets, or assets they dominate, like maps etc., is key, and "owning" listings in some form might be part of that goal. Locking in the "big guys" such as airlines, banks and replacing the Yellow Pages are the sorts of big plays that make "little guys" irrelevant i think.
Search quality is just a bi-product in planning the end game mega - monetization IMO.
Google seems to want to provide an interactive brochure replacement, and i kind of picked this up in Amit Singhal's post [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au...]
The thinking has to be reflective of a part of an overall corporate vision of where search is headed from a business pespective.
[edited by: Whitey at 7:27 am (utc) on Mar 21, 2012]