I have posted within a few other topics that there seems to be an increased use of the "end of results" penalty by Google in recent months.
I had a couple of sites that suffered from 950 several years ago when it was a hot topic around here. Eventually they recovered... I think due to a few high quality links being received.
It looks to me like a lot of the recently hit EMD's are at the end of results, but also a lot of other sites that appear to be of some quality with decent content and a pretty good link profile. I'm also seeing obvious spam sites down there as well.
I have two sites presently at the end of results for a bunch of keywords. This pre-dated the EMD update. I have spent a lot of time over the past few months studying what these pages have in common. I can best describe it as follows:
If a site would ordinarily rank in roughly the 40th position or better for a given search, then results that would have appeared within the top 40 are sent to the end of results.
This also gives a false sense of belief that some pages that aren't in 950 are stronger than those that are. In fact, the pages at the end of the results are the strongest, but the penalty overlay sends them to the back.
I would like to again begin a discussion of what these sites have in common, or what options exist for recovery.
For those of you new to this penalty... set your search preferences to show 100 results. Then go to the last page of displayed results (page 8, 9 or 10 usually) and look at the pages that are there.
I am starting to believe that this is more of a catch-all penalty for sites that google just doesn't want to rank - although the algo would otherwise rank them. One example is that for several years Google Books results have stayed at the end of results in my niche... because they probably rank well per the algo given the authority of the google domain.. but aren't at all what the user is looking for.