a1call - 9:26 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)
I was not referring to this one term when I typed degrading. IMO Google results have degraded recently across the board. This just happens to be a good example. As you might know google's algos apply to all the results and you could be pretty sure this is not an one term issue.
Currently there are filers affecting the results and penalising many aspect of optimization such as backlinks, anchor texts and even optimized title tags.
What baffles me is that if google can detect these black hat stuff why not just ignore them rather than filter them at all costs. If average Joe is looking for widgets he doesn't care if there is hidden text on the site that has the info he is looking for. After all he does not see them.