Read the lips. Perhaps PageRank is being abandoned. ...

Google could hardly come out and say we are no longer using the PageRank approach to any significant extent in the search algorithms.  Just imagine the loss of face.  However perhaps this is what we should read between the lines here. :)

It's OK if you're a journalist. ...

John Mueller made an interesting exception for journalists, who apparently do not need to nofollow their link back home.  The rest of the world has given up on trying to distinguish between journalists and bloggers.  Indeed most journalists are now bloggers.  Google needs to hang on to this dubious distinction to have an apparently plausible reason for allowing some backlinks to be left without nofollow.

By now I think Google is becoming like a religious movement where it's not logic but faith that fuels actions.

The widow's mite ...

This is a small pittance relative to all the dreadful ways Google is now gouging all the SMBs with its burying of all ways you can try for some free publicity.  They are using their monopoly to force acceptance of Adwords as the only way to be visible on the messy Web their insistance on the PageRank algorithm has created.

... but the default is that you're opted in for this. ...

Of course it wouldn't have any traction if the default was that you're opted out.  Who in their right minds would opt-in to a process like this.

Google Is Pushing Shared Endorsements On Everyone ...

Mark, I profoundly disagree with your apparent support of Google's approach to Shared Endorsements.

The usual approach would be that the default choice is what most people would want.  Google should have made the default choice of not accepting Shared Endorsements.  Only those who wanted it would then actively accept.  Google knew that would result in probably zero acceptances.  So they force you to opt out, otherwise you're in.

Your defence of their proactivity I also find a trifle thin.  They announce just prior to a long weekend in the USA and Canada so probably few would have the time to explore this and take a rational choice. Many may blindly go along with Google's approach here.  After all, isn't their motto, Do No Evil.

In this case, it is blatant commercialism to maximise ad revenues that is Google's motivation and intent.

Google Is Pushing Shared Endorsements On Everyone ...

Mark, I profoundly disagree with your apparent support of Google's approach to Shared Endorsements.

The usual approach would be that the default choice is what most people would want.  Google should have made the default choice of not accepting Shared Endorsements.  Only those who wanted it would then actively accept.  Google knew that would result in probably zero acceptances.  So they force you to opt out, otherwise you're in.

Your defence of their proactivity I also find a trifle thin.  They announce just prior to a long weekend in the USA and Canada so probably few would have the time to explore this and take a rational choice. Many may blindly go along with Google's approach here.  After all, isn't their motto, Do No Evil.

In this case, it is blatant commercialism to maximise ad revenues that is Google's motivation and intent.

Which is the better default choice - opt-in or opt-out ...

Mark, I'm sure we'll agree to differ on this, but I still think Google had a choice on the default: either opt-out (the default they chose) or opt-in.  I'm convinced that if they had chosen opt-in as the default, then few would have chosen it (even if they saw the 'memo').

 

My default was to opt-out if I wished.  However a TechCrunch article suggested that some were served up the opt-in default.

 

http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/12/opt-out-google-ads/