Whitey - 12:51 am on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)
Sure, because designer-hand-bags-now-buy.info is going to be some thin-affiliate / commodity product seller. There is no real "value add" as they like to say.
I think it's time to redefine "value-add" into those three buckets that Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal described - brand ; small/medium ; SPAM.
Which bucket are you referring to on this example. SPAM?
Some huge business' [ in terms of financial market captilization ] I see, provide nothing but aggregated data onto a website, not even original reviews - typical in meta search, with pretty average user experience. They have no need for customer service, shipping or support. But they do have a corporate identity and a huge marketing budget, which includes TV, PR, digital etc etc.
The website is their customer service. And you can't measure comparisons on the granular data, because it's not there to compare in side by side e.g. terms and conditions ; finer product nuances etc. So really the websites are not that great versus what can be achieved at small/medium level.
So how do such brands get a "pass"?
Sometimes I think brands have gone through an editorial quality check in major verticals on an international and regional level, and unless those editors become aware of mainstream brand promotions of some scale to change their minds, they may never change the order of ranking left to the algo afforded to the small/medium bucket.
That's not to say Google is ignoring strong "signals", such as has been suggested earlier in this thread, which probably compliment the editorial QA. But I think one may have priority over the other.
Panda / Penguin, IMO, were aggressive actions to redefine sites into those three buckets from an algorthimic viewpoint. There is no evidence of reports on any scale of sites leaping out of those buckets, even where large amounts of remedial work has been done.
So I think at the high end of the food chain, there must be an editorial component with a "flag" constantly under review to allow, or not allow business' with sites into the brand categorization bucket.