walkman - 4:25 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
Biswanath Panda is a very cleaver chap who works for Google. The Panda update was named after him.
:) I never said he wasn't smart and I don't doubt his brain power, at least in math. I can't really classify him as the smartest on earth or #8457 but that's besides the point. We do not know what 'Panda' offered to Google to make Panda happen. He may simply come up with the 'What is a good page site' questions.
I said that there is a lot, lot more than just text analysis and in fact text is ignored at least in my niche--and even in news (See Huff Post or Business Insider type of sites). Several sites in my niche that gained massively in February Panda got slammed in future Pandas, even though they had a lot better text not found in any other site.
Can Google rank a story as 'great' by sending Googlebot? Maybe, when it comes to grammar, spelling and uniqueness but that's not 'great.' Even with that, I sincerely doubt they can apply that to the entire web, or even subsections.
edit: In fact Google lumps them all in one: low quality, poorly written, shallow, not useful etc etc. No way an algo can tell that by reading a page.