>This could also mean that the algo isn't "broke", in the sense that Google may be doing this intentionally and on purpose. What Google thinks the algo should do may be different than what some webmasters think it should.
Absolutely agree with this. Brett also said the following in message #25 which seems to account for many of the inconsistencies in the most affected cats.
Why does 80% of it explain Florida? Because most of the utterly bizarre searches we've seen since Florida, are in sectors that have very little text on the page. Most are in keyword spaces where generated pages are the norm (travel, hotel, weather, drugs, shopping/commercial product cats, shopping cart driven purchase pages, and ultimately - every ones index pages). There just isn't enough text on those pages to make heads-nor-tails of. It explains the "dictionary" phenom and the "over optimization" phenom.
I don't think it explains everything and I do agree there must have been some specific filters that nailed people in certain categories.