TypicalSurfer - 5:56 pm on Aug 11, 2012 (gmt 0)
The "smartest guys in the room" bit is usually the cover needed for all manner of malfeasance.
I'm not quite sure what the OP is trying to accomplish..google good? google neutral? certainly not "google bad" but I do agree that whatever your personal opinion of goggle practices are, it really doesn't matter so why would a pro-google post be any less crap than a whiney "bad google" post.
Onto the science of IR (information retrieval), large scale IR science also deals specifically with Adversarial Information Retrieval, if you don't get that subject you won't be any good at delivering results to your audience. The issue that I see in the OP by referring to "science" is that any published papers on IR in relation to adversarial IR (unwanted results cluttering a query) relate to relevance, not "intent" or "gaming" or "anti-SEO". The core challenge in large scale IR is to CATEGORIZE content so as to deliver relevant results. Most SEO efforts do that job brilliantly for search engines, good titles, descriptions, KW relevance, it's really not the IR nightmare it once was when everyone was publishing content with file names and titles like "untitled 1", untitled2", etc. so the OP is correct in stating that there is a "cooperative" relationship with google in as much as most astute publishers actually do provide content that is very easy to categorize. Where the OP goes off is referring to "science" when google uses what is generally accepted as cooperative and helpful in categorizing documents in a large corpus and declaring these methods "over-optimized". To what end would it serve to encourage poor or less than optimized categorization techniques? From a "science" standpoint, it serves to screw up your document collections.
So why is google adversarial towards those who properly mark up their documents for easy categorization? Science or profit? It can't be "science" that would be like asking for bad ingredients or at least "less than best" ingredients for any given formula, it would be a crap end product, less than it could/should be.
But of course, it can't be profit, no one that is smarter than almost everyone else (the real smart algo guys are on Wall Street working trading algos) would protect profits would they? Would a smart CEO dumb down commercial queries and deliver forum posts and articles so as to increase paid clicks, I say yes, of course he would, a smart CEO is about delivering ever increasing profits to shareholders.
Anyway, much ado about nothing really as google determines their own trajectory, if they keep dumbing things down and alienating users and influencers at the rate they are now, it will be replaced at some point, that's just the way these things work out.
Now get back to work cracking that algo!