Has Google bowed to public-blogosphere-press pressure? Is Google Matt Cutts dictating policy at Google? Do Google competitors sway Google's actions?
Such "conclusions" are swirling around the blogosphere because the controversial Google self-promotional 'tips' (see "Does Google play fair?") are not currently surfacing in Google SERPs.
In "Google Top Five: Googley things I admire" I cite "Google uniqueness" as number four:
Google is not the “same old, same old” corporation; Google marches to its own beat, proudly and confidently.
Google's inordinate success stems in part from its inordinate confidence, in Google and in Google decisions.
Google "tips" may or may not have been "pulled" from Google, but Google self-promotional product pitches continue within Google search SERPs.
Below is a screenshot of my search today for "calendar" at Google; A Google placed self-promotional call-out blue box pitch for Google's own Desktop product is prominently featured directly below navigation to page two of Google's "natural" search results:
Get organized for the new year with Google Desktop.