ascensions - 1:49 am on May 1, 2011 (gmt 0)
But about.com got hit, according to SEW and NYT...
...and I don't think ads surrounding content is necessarily bad. I do think where they appear on the screen has a lot to do with it. Right-aligned ads seemed to be favored, not only on Google properties, but many of the "winners". (For above-fold placement.)
I assume you are granted some level of "trust"- if you will, based on other factors with respect to how many ads you can have and how far left, or how many above the fold you can have. "A" list sites (News orgs.) of course would be allowed more leniency than "B-F" sites, but I think the safe call is if you're hit by Panada, then you're likely not a "A list" site, and should probably limit the number of ads as well as the position to (oh say) the right alignment.
I think the whole "thin" content thing was misappropriated by webmaster as meaning solely as lack of text, but I'm more likely to believe "thin" means lack of text and in the presence of ads.
I'm seeing observable affects when word counting pages and eliminating ads on pages smaller than 250 words dynamically with PHP.
I just had my sitelinks come back tonight, hoping to see this theory play out.