While I agree with the sentiment, I feel like this ship sailed years ago - it's like saying "Amazon should stick to being an ecommerce platform".
What's more, Google was never in the business of "being a solid search engine". Google is and always has been in the business of selling access to users' eyeballs. AMP - as much as I hate it - is directly in line with their core business.
As a French I’m pretty glad in retrospect that my ancestors under Napoleon reign and the Bourbon restoration didn’t go like “I really think democracy would have been a nice feature but I feel like this ship sailed”
That's not how they became the darling of the tech scene though.
> Currently, the predominant business model for commercial search engines is advertising. The goals of the advertising business model do not always correspond to providing quality search to users [..] we expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers. Since it is very difficult even for experts to evaluate search engines, search engine bias is particularly insidious. [..] we believe the issue of advertising causes enough mixed incentives that it is crucial to have a competitive search engine that is transparent and in the academic realm.
The popularity of a website shouldn't be based on the number of times they can stuff keywords into a page, it should be based on the number of human beings who used the site and determined it was valuable enough to link to.
I don't know if pagerank is used anymore, but at the time, with the state of the web then, it was an incredible breakthrough.