---- Google Updates and SERP Changes - October 2013
Wilburforce - 8:10 am on Oct 17, 2013 (gmt 0)
checking this morning it's got worse over night
I'm not seeing that here (niche, UK). It hasn't got any better either: I wouldn't say there is any statistically significant change.
It isn't easy to figure out how this affects searchers. In yesterday's scattering of Google referrals in my server log, a good proportion of (mostly long phrase) searches were on page 1, but these include a couple that are not relevant (including e.g. a search for a specific brand I don't stock or refer to). It is fairly clear from the page titles/descriptions that the irrelevant results wouldn't answer the query, so presumambly this is either laziness or curiosity on the part of the searcher.
Quite a few referrals come a long way further down (e.g. one very relevant result - arguably the first that actually answers the query - on page 8), so I assume some searchers keep looking on Google rather than switch to Bing, where they can find it on page 1.
All-in-all, I reckon Google are now trading on brand-loyalty alone. That can't be viable in the longer term.