TheOptimizationIdiot - 6:02 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)
TOI, you mentioned the separation of departments as a response to suggestions that Google (as a whole) is making sure the SERPs, ads and all, serve their bottom line. Or maybe you didn't mean it as a response, and it just read that way on the page. Sorry if I misunderstood - just wanted to see what page we're all on.
Here's the page I'm on:
1.) I think the ads and organics are separate in what they include and the order what's included organically shows.
2.) I think they use design, layout and other "features/gimmicks/prominence" to try to maximize ad clicks from visitors and/or hold them on their properties (sites) as much as possible without being "totally irritating".
3.) I do not believe they're silly enough to let advertising influence what's shown in the organic results, or in any other way "sacrifice" the organics to make an extra penny today, because:
The organic results are what make them better than the rest.
The organic results including what people are looking for, regardless of advertising, will keep people coming back should they not find what they're looking for in an advertisement or should there not be advertisements for a query.
Every search engine with lesser organic results over time has lost market share and profitability (maybe too many "landing pages" when you have to click the ads to find something as was previously suggested?), so for long-term viability, based on Google's history wrt building their current market share and the past "failures" of other SEs, the organics remaining by "unmanipulated" anything other than visitor satisfaction / quality indicators is the key to their continued success.
Bottom lines in my thinking:
Advertising, design, features, layout, nearly everything except the ordering/inclusion in the organic results = profit maximization.
Organic results remaining unmanipulated in the ordering/inclusion of sites/pages by advertising or anything other than visitor satisfaction indicators / overall quality improvements = The key to their long-term sustainability/viability as a search engine (or knowledge engine or WETF they call themselves today).