tedster - 7:15 pm on Feb 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
I think there's some very good thinking behind those ideas, AlyssaS. It does seem likely that something about a linking footprint is involved in this update, and internal linking could well be part of that. That's a savvy observation on the difference between Squidoo and Hubpages.
However, I doubt that it's only one thing. I also think there's a major component that uses some form of semantic analysis on the content itself, instead of the algo looking only at secondary signals. Matt Cutts mentioned that parts of this change were in development since last year - that's a big project! Coincidentally, Anna Lynne Patterson, the brain behind their phrase-based indexing patents, returned to Google last year.