diberry - 5:58 pm on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)
Str82u, I totally agree. That's where I wish my programming skills were better, or that I knew how to find and hire a competent programmer who could be trusted. I think it's really key.
ColourOfSpring, I don't have the impression that TOI simply believes Google is run by angels who are incapable of telling lies or doing anything nasty. He's offered solid logic for why, in this case, he just can't see a benefit to manipulating the algo to keep the brands up top. Whitey makes a compelling argument for the other side, but it's vague (by necessity because we don't have the data we'd need to prove or disprove it).
I definitely believe Google is capable of playing dirty. Based on what I read and observed, I totally believe they screwed Yelp as Yelp claimed before Congress. I also believe they probably would manipulate the algo to boost Adwords if they feel the return is worth the risk to them. But in this case, I'm just not seeing it because the profitable manipulation wrt brands to make would be to push brands DOWN and make them pay. It makes far more sense, to me, to believe the brand boost has happened because putting trust ahead of relevancy is a shortcut to keep the algo from collapsing under the sheer volume of webpages today. I think Panda was about that... all signs point to this being an issue for Google ever since Caffeine.
I hope you don't think this means I drink Google Kool-Aid. ;)