tedster - 1:24 am on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
it's very likely that Google uses the procedure of ranking, then reranking, then weighting
I agree - and there's another curious sign. Notice how often you can't get the full 1,000 results these days? It shifted some time last year and probably points to some extra kid of refinement, but I just can't wrap my head around it so far.
When it comes to interlinking domains, as long as it's done for visitors and not to manipulate rankings, I have had no problems for several years even if the domains are sharing an IP address. The domains are openly registered to the same whois and it seems (almost) like Google evaluates all the domains like one big website.