Sgt_Kickaxe - 7:25 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)
Netmeg, what do you suppose the ¯\_( )_/¯ in Matt Cutts response to your tweet means? I removed the middle character because my browser doesn't allow some special characters and WW converts the middle part to alt code.
I thought that Google ALWAYS evaluated template on all pages, all the time, since the beginning so I'm quite surprised to see this announcement. It suggests that Google had been grabbing the meaty part of pages(content) and ignoring all else for the most part.
It appears to me that Google divides up the page into three categories: Content, Ads, and Other.
The Google rater handbook breaks it down into 3 parts. Content, Ads and Related Content and yes, the related content needs to be there and that section also receives a rating. There is an entire section of the handbook devoted to rating the "related" information section of the page.