The company I work for as Marketing Director spends a huge amount of cash with Google on advertising. We got invited to the Google Dublin Headquarters for a bit of one on one time with our adwords account manager and to attend the various seminars being held at the same time.
Although I could blog at length about this I just wanted to make some general observations. Despite spending vast sums of money on advertising, there is no way to influence google organic listings it is run separately, our MD would not believe that yet I'm sold.
The adwords staff will literally do anything they can to help but ask them advice on SEO and they'll flat out say, 'look I can't do a thing.'
What better way to remain the best search engine that to keep it 100% clean of any commercial involvement. I wouldn't trust Microsoft to do this for definite.
The second thing I felt was how Google try to estimate the future and then to positions themselves on the crest of that wave. They do this with modesty though, you listen to Microsoft and how wonderful Vista was (not) and it's corporate nonsense but Google will tell you how they going to make say Chrome better rather than spend too much time telling you how great it is now.
I think Google have it just right and despite me being the type that likes to dislike the 'man' this corporation, Google, has got my utmost respect.
I know sound like a fanboi but it is hard not to be.