bill - 3:59 am on Oct 24, 2008 (gmt 0)
I hope that Google's relevance has improved. Only a few years ago user feedback was decidedly against Google and in favor of Baidu. The reason was that the SERPs were simply more relevant in Baidu. Personally I ran into the same issues. Finding the Chinese info I was looking for was a lot easier on Baidu.
how could SE to leave people themselves to "start skipping to the 2nd or 3rd results page"?
The web was a little less commonplace and people were more technically inclined back then I guess. The addition of ads did cause a bit of an uproar in the industry press. People were not necessarily in favor of advertisements in the SERPS...although it's now commonplace.