TheOptimizationIdiot - 1:49 am on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)
I suspect the truth lies between their official public-announced policy that you wholeheartedly and earnestly believe and the various conspiracy theories out there.
The publicly stated policy just makes more sense than the conspiracy theories.
1.) Every single search engine that's had poor organics but relevant ads is pretty much forgotten as a search engine. Even the ones that had PFI. (IOW: I have serious doubts they would follow the Yahoo! model.)
2.) It seems to me if they were going to do something along the lines of what's being suggested, the easiest way over playing some sneaky "do it while you're denying it game", would be to simply say:
We've noticed a direct correlation between the quality of sites and AdWords spending so today we've incorporated the presence of an active AdWords campaign as a "quality signal" in the main algo. This means while you have an active AdWords campaign running your organic quality score will be given a "boost" which may help you in the organic results as well.
It would be simple to drive people to advertise without any games or gimmicks or tricks or sneaky manipulation of organics or anything else. All they would have to do is announce there's a boost in organic quality score indicated by AdWords spending and they would drive people to advertise.
In fact they would likely drive more people to advertise that way than by trying to drive people to advertise with organics result manipulation "but don't tell anyone advertising will help" ever would.
BTW: I do realize my ideas are no where near as much fun as a conspiracy theory ;) lol And, if they were really just going with visitor behavior indicators and things along those line more than they did in the past, well, then the reality would likely be many sites are not nearly as important to Google's visitors as their owners seem to think they should be and that could definitely be a tough pill to swallow, so way easier for it to be a conspiracy.