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Now there are features in phrase-based indexing that will catch and penalize some types of artificial content creations. But I'm pretty sure Google will depend on inbound links and the "community of your peers" to supply the quality metric - and of course, if your site begins to rank for big volume query terms, their human evaluators will also be having a look.
I believe the day will come where Google will be looking at grammar. Why should poorly written content rank high when it does not give readers much confidence in the quality of information? After all, no reader is going to trust content from a writer who cannot even structure a sentence properly. This ultimately reduces Google's value to the search engine user since they are ranking 'junk'. Google has enough foresight to prevent this in the long run.
Of course, reputable websites use reputable writers and have editors to ensure quality work. But I believe that even a reputable website's individual article will be penalized in the future if the English is not up to scratch. Just my opinion.
After all, it is easy to find a medical professional in India who will write for a few dollars but is not a native English speaker
There are plenty of native English speakers in India - but they will probably not be the ones looking for low paid work.
@kidder, other things being equal I would rather a search found a forum where most users wrote well than one where they did not.
As to grammar and poor content and spelling, the majority of readers don't care as long as the content does make sense, grammar and spelling is a 20th century thing, we are in the 21st and anything goes, we have to accept it!
If the so called respected print media sets a bad example, we'll all learn that bad example. "Man chases cat down street, gets arrested by cops" is a normal headline news you may read on the NYT, Guardian, the Sun or any other newspaper with a large circulation despite the poor grammar, but it's a normal catchy headline and communicates the whole message in a shortened phrase but at the expense of poor quality English!