TheOptimizationIdiot - 5:56 pm on Apr 14, 2013 (gmt 0)
...and there's no way they'd allow the algo to move in a direction that impacted negatively on profit margins. That's just bad business.
Exactly, and keeping visitors happy by providing the results they're looking for (whether we think there's something "better" they could show or not) is a much healthier long-term, profitable business plan with sustainability than sacrificing organic results to try and make a buck now. They know that. They've stated it a number of times. Their plan is very "long-term" oriented.
Their business is based on providing answers (SERPs) and as long as they continue to provide answers (SERPs) searchers (not necessarily us) are happy with they will still have plenty of people to click their ads without manipulating the organics or making the organics "bad" to force extra clicks on ads from people.
Their organic results keeping people happy and coming back is where long-term sustainability and profitability from the ads they serve comes from. Without the results, they become, let's see, Alta Vista, Overture, Ask, Yahoo! etc. (None of them could sustain search traffic and profitability through advertising revenue by showing ads in the results, because their results sucked, so people stopped using them even though they had relevant advertising on the results pages.)
The suggestion they need to (or would) manipulate the organic results to keep people happy and coming back to them by forcing them to click the ads is very short-term thinking and not a path I can imagine they would go down, which, as I said previously, is apparent (to me at least) in the results, because if they really wanted to manipulate the organics to make more money, Mom & Pop and those whom had not indicated they could/would pay for advertising is what they would show in the organics, not the "big brands" and/or others who have indicated they have a budget to advertise with.
ADDED: Yahoo! is about as great an example as I can think of to illustrate horrible results but great advertising being a losing long-term plan. They had a gigantic user based that was right there on their site. (#1 or #2 most visited site for quite a while). They also had both terrible organic results and relevant advertising covered. They didn't "quit" and ask Bing to provide their organics because they were highly profitable and growing/sustaining market share or making money like crazy from the ads when their results sucked. They asked Bing to do it cause even with relevant ads they couldn't make money without the organics being at least competitive.