Shaddows - 2:22 pm on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)
This is following the US discussion.
Ad blocks DO appear to be part of the mix. Finding a counter example is easy- the reason being THERE ARE SEVERAL FACTORS. It took them a year to program. Saying "If AdBlocks>3 Then Pandalise" takes about 5 seconds.
As TMS took the time to explain early on in the US discussion, it is not one-size-fits-all. Pushing in one direction might be fine, as long as you are doing things in other directions too.
Also, Panda is not soley a negative-impact event. Every page on every site that has been indexed post-Panda will have has its score affected. Some will have gone up, others down. Calling it a "penalty" automatically closes your mind to the nuances of this fact. Specifically, it makes you want to "escape the penalty" when all you can do is make incremental changes to your overall ranking score. If you were hired to optimise a mid-quality site, you would not automatically think of it as penalised. You would assess its characteristics relative to its niche and competition, and seek ways to improve its ranking going forward.
WOULD THEY RECOMMEND IT IF IT JUST LEADS TO PUNISHMENT
Same reason every large company works at cross-purposes. They just do not co-ordinate to that degree. It is impossible.