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Be interesting to see how they dig themselves out of this one!
But I'm sure that will bring in some counter-arguments :)
That would also have a beneficial effect on domain ownership and free up a lot of the hoarded domains that hinder serious businesses from brand building.
I have no doubt that they could serve up quality results, but this would result in less traffic through their sponsored links with a subsequent reduction in revenue.
Google has to balance the quality of (or lack of) results against the necessity to generate income.
The difficulty here could be that if Google's traffic dips, they may have to compensate by moving the quality lever down a notch to maintain income levels. Could be they're already on this slippery slope of self destruction.
Let's hope that searchers begin to realise that Google's results are nothing more than candy floss for the eyes; a visual snack before they get clicking on the PPC stuff, and perhaps they'll start their searching elsewhere. Only then will Google return to delivering quality results.
Were they to make domains a lot more expensive, say $500 a crack, that would make entry into the market more of a decision process.
That would be a very interesting way of approaching it. I think the idea has been mooted around here before.