falsepositive - 1:20 am on Jun 12, 2011 (gmt 0)
I was referring to "quality" as in what Google refers to or understands as "quality". It matters not what we think is quality (it's subjective). There is a quality score that Google has developed and whatever THAT is, it's what's ruling right now over authority/reputation/age of site. With the 2 examples cited, I can only conclude that this is how the formula is weighted. My site is old, has a reputation in all other channels besides Google and is clearly an authority based on my existing link profile and in my specific niche. Yet it's been punished, but from what I see, it's for reasons that are different from those that brought down those other sites.
When you are a strong brand, perhaps the link profile or user metrics may be so strong that it can help prevent the Panda tipping of a site.