diberry - 3:58 pm on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
I don't think Google's lawyers would advise them to mislead webmasters, many of whom could be viewed as their competitors. That's an anti-trust lawsuit waiting to happen.
What we know for sure is:
- They are intentionally vague to avoid giving spammers and black hatters the secret sauce.
- Anything anyone says can be misinterpreted
And I would argue there's an increasingly big divide between what Google SAYS an algo change will do and what actually happens - not because they're lying, but because they are increasingly unable to predict how an algo change is actually going to affect the SERPs. And if I'm right, that means Google isn't even capable of telling us "the truth" because it's a mystery to them too.
So I listen to directives, but not predictions or stated intentions. That is, when Matt Cutts said the best way to code/structure my site is X, and X doesn't conflict with what's best for users, I believe he's speaking in good faith and I do what he says. But when Google personnel tell us what the next algo update's gonna accomplish, I assume they may be overly optimistic and take it with a grain of salt.
I do agree with those who feel they're seeing evidence of Google trying to "correct mistakes" like brand bias.