ackkster - 5:39 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
Looking at this list of sites, the two biggest things that stand out to me are:
- Content/Non-content ratio above the fold. Not only ads, but also just having a relevant image that pushes the text content of the article below the fold.
- Lots of duplication of content across domains. If you look at article pages on just-food.com, which aren't very ad heavy, and copy and paste (with quotes) the first sentence of any article into Google, there are numerous duplicate sites with the same article ranking higher.
Same applies to pop crunch, cinemablend, etc.
In many cases spammy scraper sites/syndicated partners are ranking above the original source of content.
Google has had a real problem identifying the original source of content recently, but perhaps Panda just dialed up the penalty for sites that it identifies incorrectly as scrappers?