---- Mayday Algorithm Update - with video from Matt Cutts
gouri - 8:04 pm on Jun 5, 2010 (gmt 0)
In this response he does mention long-tail, but he puts more emphasis on the idea of returning what Google feels are "better quality sites." He keeps saying "sites" rather than pages - so that may well be a big clue to what's going on.
Thank you for posting the information above.
This got me into thinking, is Google going to look more at the quality of a website and decide how good its content is and maybe pay a little less attention to its backlinks when deciding what to rank highly for a long-tail phrase.