mullman99 - 10:30 pm on Dec 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
@austtr - completely agree; when I try and piece everything together into a 'bigger picture', it seems almost self-evident.
When I followed that train of thought, a lot of things 'clicked into place'. I drafted a blog post along those lines, but it grew & grew into a 3500-word 'report' (which I'll be posting on my blog on Monday). Where I ended up is, a massive 'imbalance' has formed, accumulated over time from the disparity between the ease & speed of 'new & better' tactic to game the system (multiplied by thousands of individuals and organizations), and the increasingly slow & difficult 'patching' of that system (through algo & policy 'updates').
Panda is Google's 'search-side' "correction", a "had to happen" response to the too-quickly-progressing 'pollution' of their database and ranking results.
To my mind, it's the initial steps in a massive and fundamental "re-tooling" of, well, everything. There's simply too much money at stake, and Google must certainly be feeling - and be aware - that the 'dark side' is on a curve to hit 'critical mass', and that the current 'everything' will never be effectively retro-fitted and scaled to meet the challenge.