aristotle - 7:59 pm on Feb 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
Schmidt's statement seems to inply that Google gave up trying to identify real quality and fell back on brands as the only solution they were capable of coming up with.
Schmidt's comment about brands came in 2007 and Panda 1.0 was released in 2011 - Google's first serious attempt to measure "quality" via an algorithm.
Well, if my interpretation of Schmidt's statement is wrong, then what did he mean?
Btw, Panda didn't directly boost any sites to higher rankings. In fact, its main effect was to demote certain types of sites so as to clear the way for brands to move higher.