AlyssaS - 4:03 pm on Mar 6, 2011 (gmt 0)
they do have some OK content along with the rest of the filler
Regarding EHow's OK content - they also seem to concentrate on some really mainstream topics and avoid the dodgy stuff.
Have a look at this article on the topics on Ezine articles:
Seven phrases appear on 10% of their articles! Whereas these phrases appear in 0.03% of EHow's pages.
We know that ad placement must be playing a part - that could be the only reason a really useful unique site like askthebuilder.com got hurt - they have eight ad units on each article page.
But G may also have been penalising sites in certain "hot" topics. So if you don't have ads, then is your site on one of the dodgy topics?
Then there's the collateral damage thing - you may have gotten hurt mainly because your links are from article directories which have been penalised.
Then there is the thin/useful content and duplicate content issue.
Then there is the issue of un-moderated comments - didn't they say on the Google blog that their document classifier was looking for the sort of spammy words that are used in automatic blog commenting and some USG content?
And there's probably another dozen other factors that we haven't thought of.