ColourOfSpring - 6:18 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)
And I would be surprised if I'm not, because that's where their sustainability comes from as a "whatever engine" people try to find stuff with.
You get sustainability from keeping your customers happy and being the best in your class by a long way....not necessarily the longest way.
Everything you're saying right there is Design/Layout.
I think this comment sums up our differences. I am see things a lot more holistically here. Yes, of course Google are made up of different departments. But to say "this is design", "this is Adwords", "this is organic" doesn't negate the fact that Google will have directions and decisions that over-arch all of these areas. It would be chaotic if all of these departments were 100% autonomous regardless of their impact on Google as a whole. Google would probably give them as much autonomy as possible, but overall direction will be from above.
I have said I think they maximize that (meaning design/layout) for ad clicks and keeping searchers on their properties without becoming "overly annoying" or "frustrating".
That was my point actually - just highlighting just how important ad clicks are to Google in the SERPs - I admit it's rather an obvious point I was making though.
What you're not showing with your example, and no one else has a better one than you (that I've seen), is them changing/manipulating the order of or changing/manipulating what shows in the organic results.
Well, strictly speaking, Google already "manipulate" the organic SERPs by deciding the rules and signals of the algorithm. That's just inevitable. It doesn't mean there's anything nefarious they are up to - just that they are deciding what rules and signals to plug into the algo to give both the searcher and Google the most optimal results. That is the way to maximise profits and keep your customers happy and keep you no.1. I don't actually see anything wrong with that.
There's a big difference between changing the design of a page to influence someone to click on something and removing the objectivity of what's shown in the section of a page you claim to be objective.
There is no such thing as objectivity when humans build and maintain an algorithm. The algorithm is objective in the sense that it will mechanically judge all sites the same according to the rules it follows and signals it looks for, but the rules themselves are literally subject to the decisions humans at Google make (literally subjective).