Adam took the liberty to respond to some additional concerns from Google users and I thought some were quite noteworthy.
Some wondered if it was beneficial to webmasters for Google to even interact with them. Perhaps it would be better if Google did nothing and the dependency would thus be lessened. To this, Adam responds:
And this, indeed, highlights the challenge we face every day. We aren't going to disengage overall; the core of my job involves finding how we can communicate more, not less. But the venues may change, the methods may change. I know I touched upon this refrain earlier, but my goal is to do the most good for the most Webmasters... a great many of whom don't even see themselves as "Webmasters" much less frequent quality Webmaster forums. One-on-one e-mail chats are absolutely not scalable, even if we hired a thousand of me/Matt/Vanessa/GoogleGuy/etc. More videos? Webinars? More conference attendance? Documentation in different formats, more languages...? So many options, no easy, comprehensive solutions.
Adam then goes into a personal discussion about whether Google -- or his job -- is governed by money or passion. His response: passion.
Google is a public company, accountable to shareholders on the whole. But those of us on the Search Quality side of the business are directed and rewarded based upon... the (user-focused) quality of the index. And what actually drives us? Speaking for myself (and perhaps many of my colleagues), it's not money. I honestly believe that I'm doing Good in that -- directly or indirectly -- I'm making the world better in at least some small way. I feel it when I chat with someone at a conference and a light goes on -- in her head or mine -- that results in her previously-all-Flash non-profit site getting indexed. When I'm "off duty" and chatting with the owner of a new restaurant, I get a kick out of helping the guy understand that, no, he doesn't have to pay to get listed in Google (or the other major search engines)! Info that's ridiculously basic/simple/obvious to us search geeks... it makes a world of difference for far more people than you may realize.
That sort of passion is hardly exclusive to Google and Googlers. I see it in the eyes of various Webmasters I chat with... who feel that THEY are changing the world... whether it's sharing their Indonesia photos with people around the world or helping families find a new home or whatever.
For some, money is a passion. But to equate ethics or passion absolutely with money is, IMHO, overlooking the diversity of Webmasters and search engine employees. I would expect (and hope) that most people working for Yahoo! or Ask or MSN, etc., also feel like they're involved in something deeper than just shifting money around.
Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.