The spelling correction thing has been with us for a while - although it has become quite extreme recently. I like your point about a rising star with a different spellingfor their first name - it's right on the money.
I was talking about Google's attempt to return better quality sites on long tail searches. That's what they said they are trying to do with the Mayday update. For some searches there is an improvement, but for other searches, well, let's say they let the farm animals in the front door of the house.