dickbaker - 10:58 pm on Feb 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
backdraft7, you seem to have strong opinions as to what constitutes a "content farm", so let me present a site to you, and you tell me if it's a content farm. The majority of the site's pages are product pages that gives photos and descriptions of widgets. Manufacturer photos, descriptions and specifications are used, as they would be in an ecommerce site, but are re-written to explain how features benefit the user.
The product pages are there to direct visitors to widget retailers who pay to be on the site. Users can find the retailers by searching by the brand of widget.
There's other content on the site, including a small ecommerce store, but the bulk is the product pages I mention. Is that a "content farm"?
Getting back to all of the theories as to what's going on, I think it's premature to be arguing about what may or may not be happening. There's been a lot of good theories posted with examples, but for every example I can cite ten sites right off the top of my head to which the theory doesn't apply.
I have rankings for key phrases for several different niches covering many months last year. It will be interesting to examine those to see if there's some commonality between the sites that lost rankings big time, as well as the sites that were largely unaffected.