I will die believing that GoogleSoft started to favor brands more since virtually every brand advertises on Google. In fact you have to advertise on Google platforms /properties to reach any meaningful audience and be or stay a brand. So they help their advertisers but indirectly since most brands advertise a certain amount of their revenue no matter what. And that Google Panda model is to throw a bone or two to newspapers since Google 'stole' their advertising revenue and is driving them out of business. These, IMO, are decisions made by a handful of Cupola members and sent down the line, possibly without a paper trail. Just as 'suggestions' that engineers make reality. Google didn't become a $30 Billion a year company by not squeezing every possible penny possible.
Hey Google, FTC posted a few guidelines for you [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...] so you can escape FTCization. They may help you, or they may not. But you will find out either way, after firing your staff and losing most of your income. And stop whining, life's not fair, dontcha know? And OBEY THE GUIDELINES next time, or you will be penalized.