Marshall - 4:17 am on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)
In trying to help understand what Google is doing, I offer this scenario using the e-commerce site I manage.
Doing a search using a combination of a well known manufacturer's name and the name of a product line that is exclusive to them, my customers site is first in Bing and has been for as long as I can remember. It use to rank 5th or 6th on page 1 in Google, but now it is number 2 on page 13 though nothing about the page has changed.
The truly curious result is what Google has as number one, a page where the url is the name of the product line. However it is, in essence, a dead page and only contains an image about how the product has been discontinued as the manufacturer is no longer in business. There is absolutely no text on the page nor is there a description tag. The only meta tag is the title tag and it only states the product line.
Now this dead page has been this way for over a year. It sells nothing, links to nothing, and other than what is written in the image, which I presume Google cannot read, it says nothing. So why is it first? It offers a user nothing whatsoever.
IMHO there is no logic to what Google is doing and, with results as I have pointed out, no way to truly anticipate how what they are doing will affect a site. It is as if we are rats in a maze to them.