EditorialGuy - 4:05 pm on Jul 3, 2013 (gmt 0)
They've given up on figuring out which websites actually answer the query and took the safe path of sending users to big brands.
If anything, I've seen the opposite for some of the informational queries that I watch. The top results for one query are:
1) An About.com page that's mostly adequate, though some of the information is a few years out of date.
2) An EMD page that's completely inadequate.
3) An official page that probably should rank at the top of the SERP.
4) A four-year-old magazine article that hasn't been updated.
5) Another EMD page that's both inadequate and off-topic.
6) Our page (in-depth information and up to date, but not our most relevant page for the query).
7) A Wikipedia stub.
8) A page on the leading UGC megasite in our sector.
9) A blog post that's trying to sell something related to the topic.
10) An informational page on a local commercial site that's useful but not directly on-topic.
You'll note that the Wikipedia stub and UGC megasite page are more than halfway down the SERP. (The order of the results has shifted a bit in the last few days, but the EMD pages--which are junk at best--are still doing fine.)