tangor - 4:09 am on Mar 9, 2011 (gmt 0)
With the explosive growth of the web in the last three years I think that G (and other SEs, too) are looking for ways to REDUCE the incredible clutter they must index to stay current. If they can scare the bejezzus out of webmasters to REFRAIN from posting say, a billion or so pages of thin content, reduce the number of paginations (consolidate, ie. a single full article per page), or refine a domain's offering, then Panda Farm has done its job. First the US, then the rest of the world, BWAHAHAHAHA!
Seriously, I think the web is getting too big for even Google to handle and this is just the beginning of "what won't make it into our index". But instead of human editors (which cost real money) they are doing it with nerds at the 'plex and a zillion lines of code...which is significantly more cost effective.