Reno - 10:28 pm on Jan 21, 2012 (gmt 0)
From a user POV, using a high speed connection and reasonably up-to-date computer (Win7), I have had enough of junk pages that are full of slow loading graphics, slow loading ads, that start sound whether I want it or not, that won't let me use my back button (locking me into their site unless I go to History and pull down 2 or 3 places), etc etc. Yeah, they may have some decent content somewhere, but the aggravation factor outweighs any value they offer. So if Google can push those sites down and allow other sites, where the user experience is more pleasant, to move higher, then I'm all for it.
And in any case, I don't think it's an "either / or" situation ... either sites have good content but it's always below the fold, or they have mediocre content and it's above the fold. There is absolutely no reason why, in most cases, the "prime meat" of the page cannot be close to the top ~ as I said in my previous post, that advice has been around for at least 15 years, if not longer.
So if Google can help make my own personal user experience more enjoyable, then in this instance I sing their praises.