steveb - 8:55 am on Feb 16, 2004 (gmt 0)
Perhaps the black=white crew might spend some time productively and compare "good" city results to "bad" city results. Do the good city topics have well-edited yahoo/dmoz directory sections, or very authoritative local directories? Do the bad city topics have weaker yahoo/dmoz directory sections for the topic? If you don't right this minute already know the answer to that question then you are just blasting away in the dark. Authority is to some degree a part of the changes we are seeing, so one thing that would make sense to do is to study the relative accuracy of the perceived authority sites in each niche.