brinked - 7:44 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)
Here is my theory. It is the only thing right now that would make sense of all this to me.
Google is giving questionable websites a chance. Google is boosting up the sites in which it questions may be a spammy type site, and by boosting its rankings will bring attention to it from its competition by it being reported as spam. Maybe google spam report division is being under worked and this is a plan to put them to work to help weed out the truly spammy sites.
A lot of the times I may not like what google does, but I can never really argue with the SERP's since they are quality for the most part. This time they must have messed up somewhere. Across the board the SERP's are just of a lesser quality than it was a month ago. I am saying this as a searcher, not a webmaster. I can see from looking at industries I am not a part of but monitor for clients that this is wrong. There is 3 duplicated sites ranking in the top 20 for all related widget search terms. same exact domain in the org, biz and ws extensions. It seems google has released a filter or two to run some tests.
Hopefully they will at least announce something soon. I am totally not buying the "different algorithms for different sites at different times" bit.