Well, well, well.... It doesn't get any more blatant than this.
First the news: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7788804
The Hacker News discussion is full of Google fanboys(shills? naive fools? who knows), but some comments are definitely worth it. See this one:
bhouston 13 hours ago | link
It is a bit weird that "Harvard Business Review predicted that Amazon, Walgreens and other major internet retailers would soon follow eBay's lead and ditch AdWords. If you’re doing SEO, you get that prime SERP placement for free, right?"And then shortly there after eBay dropped significantly in Google's rankings. To be honest, the above statement from HBR is a major threat to Google's business.
(The bold letters are my edit.) Ummmm....this is pretty interesting, so eBay stops buying adwords and Panda 4.0 comes out destroying eBay's all too suspicious "organic" ranks?
Black Hats have probably brought up the eBay rankings suspicions about 100 times here, their organic results are absolute spam, we all knew it, but how come they lasted so long and only got banned after the adwords money flow dried? Strange, no? "Panda 4.0" what the f is that BS? It's the Adwords 4.0 update....the message seems to be pretty clear.
Now, who else is in the same boat as eBay? Amazon, Tripadvisor, several others. Pages and pages full of Amazon and Tripadvisor results.....how much are *these* guys spending on Adwords, does anyone know? Keep an eye on them. Soon as they halt the billion dollar ad spam via adwords, Panda 5.0 comes out.
Newbies finally see how Google *really* works? That's how google works. You got a billion to spend on ads? You won't have any trouble spamming the "organic" serps.