TheMadScientist - 11:02 pm on Dec 15, 2012 (gmt 0)
Not to mention it sounds like we pretty much all can type in keywords for our niche and see blatant violations and/or complete opposites of the holy grail of website standards they have set forth.
I remember when I could search for something and could honestly say the results 'made sense' and now I cannot do that. It's just that more irritating when they push these rules out about how you should do this and that yet now top results are filled with content that completely goes against these rules.
In a machine learning situation you'd have to present multiple groups of alternatives (regardless of 'old ranking signals') to get the user behavior relative to each different type of site/grouping of sites into the system and it would take time (much longer than we would probably think) to get enough data into the system ... I wouldn't be surprised at all if that's what's going on and I would also not be too surprised if 'the rules of the game' drastically change and move away from even what we're looking at as factors now in the not too distant future.
There's more I'm thinking, but I'm going to leave it there at this time.