ColourOfSpring - 7:24 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)
Do you think in a discussion something like taking a "more holistic view" about what's being said can lead to more new insights or understandings, or do you think more is gained by splitting hairs over the exact wording used say something?
Yes I do think a holistic view leads to more insight. I honestly don't know what you're referring to in the second question about splitting hairs, but if it's about me "splitting hairs" about the use of the word objective, I don't think I was splitting hairs. The Google algorithm is not truly objective so long as it's guided by humans. It can follow their rules objectively, but the rules themselves are subject to the decisions of humans.
Anyway, I got thinking a bit more about this - if Google truly wanted the best search experience possible for their searchers, then why did they introduce more ads over the years to the SERPs and push organics even below the fold for many commercial searches? And why then disguise those ads even more with ever-lighter backgrounds to give more of an impression they are organic? As you say, it's the organic listings that give them their no.1 spot in search (and I agree with this, of course). A very quick search for "car parts" on google.co.uk gave me 5 ads and 1 organic result above the fold (1366 x 768 resolution, standard laptop). Either Google think that this DOES give the searcher a better experience because ads on commercial searches tend to give the searcher a better result than organic, or Google are simply compromising between the searcher's needs and their own and not giving the best possible search experience because of this compromise, and yet they are still giving a much better search experience than their competition. I know it's the latter, and I see nothing wrong with a private company making this compromise. Google can make such compromises, and STILL be the best in their class by a long way.
The teams most definitely are separate. Although you may think that these teams influence each other (that's a different issue) each team is definitely made up of at least hundreds of employees. And from speaking with these folks at conferences, I'm pretty convinced that ads do not affect organic rankings, and they never have.
tedster, yes they are different teams. I don't think anyone said they are the same or even work together or influence each other directly. It doesn't mean they are 100% autonomous to a higher level of management though.
I don't believe (unless I've misread) anyone's arguing the teams are collaborating or conspiring. We are, however, saying that the most basic quality control requires that someone at Google look at the final result - a SERP page with organic and paid results - to make sure it's working the way Google feels it should.
100% agree diberry. Google have to make decisions based on what they see in the overall SERP - Adwords and organic and Google properties (maps, news etc) - the sum of the parts. The overall SERP is Google's flagship "product". Any product maker has to make decisions based on how it works in totality, not just its individual parts.
I don't think teams need to conspire when they are directed from above. I also don't believe your ranking depends on how much you spend (or don't spend) on Adwords. I also don't believe Google simply think - "let's make organic as good as it can possibly be regardless of how it impacts Adwords". I do strongly suspect that Google will tweak the algorithm to give a "win win" for searcher and Google however. It's a balancing act no matter what their public announcements say.