Planet13 - 8:19 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)
For example, the search term "causes of xx", where xx is a medical condition, produces inexplicably similar results to "treatment of xx" and "cures for xx" - or indeed, "xx treatment" and "xx cure".
Instead of looking at it as google simply placing less value on anchor text, is it possible to look at it that caffeine has allowed for better implementation of semantic variations, that is to say if the search was for the words "treatment disease X" that google now sees "cure disease X" and "remedy disease X" and "disease X treatment" having more or less the same value in terms of relevance?
That would explain why so many people have done a search for a term like "used titanium widget" with all sorts of sites returned in the SERPs, and then at the bottom of the google search page, seen a link that says, Search for "used titanium widget" (the exact same phrase they originally typed in)?
So the original query returns results with more semantic variations, while the "refined" results have less semantic variations?