I have been hearing similar sounds from SEOs and searchers for a few months now. I remember whe Google was launched at everyone was so amazed at how accurate it was. Things have changed and it appears Google has actually become worse or maybe the marketeers better?
It sounds like what was said in that article reflects my experience too. Shame though.
It's amusing: 99% of the digerati who rave about Google couldn't distinguish Google results from those of Yahoo or Ask Jeeves if presented with them blindly, à la the Pepsi Challenge. Googlephiles may think they are exhibiting technical sophistication by their loyalty, but what they are really proving is the extent to which they have been conditioned to respond to logos and brands, just like street kids with their sneakers.
Some say Google is the Rolls-Royce of search; maybe what it really is is the Nike.