ergophobe - 6:38 pm on Mar 5, 2011 (gmt 0)
This whole things just makes me laugh.
I wrote an ezinearticles article with a good, appropriate, but very unique title. The title is long, and even individual pieces of it are unique. So I can do multiple completely reasonable searches for real stuff that people might be interested in (health and fitness topic) and have unique results.
It was published just after this update and within two hours of going live, it was in the Google index at #4, below absolute garbage scraper pages that excerpted a about 50-100 words and then hit you with massive AdSense blocks.
Within a couple of days, the spinners had hit. So the title word "Training" becomes "Instruction" or "Teaching". These automated spins often turn the title into absolute gibberish, but by searching on different pieces of the title, I can still get hits that, before my article, would have shown zero results, and catch my article (of course) but also spinners who have changed part of the title only.
So now my page sits at #2-4, surrounded by 40-100 results of spun and scraped MFA sites.
Furthermore, mixed in with the spam sites are Twitter threads which use URL shorteners and send you to the spun, scraped spam on their site. So even sites which themselves can't rank are able to get themselves on page 1 of the SERPs for their Twitter feed and count on a double click through.
So overall, I find this idea that somehow Google has done anything about spammers, scrapers, content farms or any other form of low-quality content is just laughable.
What they have done, is create a PR event designed to make people believe that the SERPS have improved.
The problem with this, is the one Matt Cutts pointed out originally: they have raised expectations. I used to expect anything I wrote to be stolen and scraped and to have people willing to comment spam outrank me. Now, I do not expect it and it suddenly bothers me a LOT more.
So for me the effect of this has been to LOWER my OPINION of the Google results, even if it has made a modest improvement in the results themselves.