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I agree, but its not (directly) about the ads, its about the profiling. The benefits of profiling infovores should not be underestimated, especially when they are Google's core users (and the ones who spread the word).

Ultimately, if people log in less, and contribute less to the Knowledge Graph (crowd sourcing production of meta-data had to be worth something, after all) then its a net loss.

Google's experiments may cause them to believe this not to be the case, but the trouble with ruthless, consistent optimisation of individual features is that it tends to land you in a local minimum, which may not be the best end game for them.

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