Andem - 12:46 am on Jun 22, 2012 (gmt 0)
I think this thread kind of reiterates the historic 'sandbox effect' which used to be a very common question and/or answer here on WebmasterWorld. I believe there still is a sandbox effect which is refreshed less often than Panda, so I'd bet many new sites that think they're affected by Panda when really, they've been affected by both a premature Panda and still inside some kind of sandbox combined with the honeymoon phase.
I guess Google wants to be able to claim their results are improved because there are fewer cases of terrible spammy sites ranking
I agree and disagree. I find that their results seem spammier now than they used to because many low-quality sites (albeit with really good content spinners along with bought links) are ranking well now. The most obvious spam sites are now gone. Though they seem to come and go.
OT: On that note: For a company that is apparently so obsessed with social networking (successful services based on real-time info), they sure do take their dear old time updating and engaging themselves.