NormanD - 9:47 pm on Nov 5, 2011 (gmt 0)
I'm experiencing exactly the same thing - useless search results. They were obviously trying to target certain types of content (the battle) and improve the search results (the war).
The jury is out on whether they won the battle, but they are losing the war badly right now. It's been a long time since I've seen such poor search results. Way to go Google!
Instead of introducing manual review of sites to determine if they are relevant for certain key words or meet quality standards, they would be much better served right now having all those manual reviewers simply performing searches and giving them feedback on the results so they might try to get the quality of search results back to where it was a month ago.
Isn't Google supposed to be full of smart people? Sometimes it's harder for smarter people to acknowledge that they might have screwed up I suppose.