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[edited by: tedster at 12:41 pm (utc) on May 1, 2013]
After you write good content and after you follow all the other guidelines
...they issue a random penalty for some unidentifiable misdemeanour, and fill all the places your own and other quality pages used to be with stuff that doesn't have good content or follow any of the guidelines.
and the police do nothing to stop it
And Google is doing nothing to stop scrapers and copyright violators. Instead of focusing on that they punish good websites that have minor faults and maybe a number of thin pages next to the pages with superb content(Panda!).
Updates are happening on an almost daily basis these days, some see effects, some do not, however if you checked them over a 2-3 months period then you would notice the overall changes Google have made.
[edited by: Str82u at 5:00 pm (utc) on May 21, 2013]
an old data set
So, I wouldn't be surprised to see it shrink.
Regarding index size, Google needs to keep the index from growing too large, as the growth rate over the past several years simply wasn't sustainable in terms of computational resources, power consumption, etc. So, I wouldn't be surprised to see it shrink.