...... Google needs SEO to be murky and constantly in flux so a lot of people just throw their hands up and surrender. They want as many paying them for traffic as they can get. Follow the money... it's the solution about 99.9% the time. We're not meant to figure this stuff out. We're meant to give up and pay them. It's a cut-throat world, boys and girls.
Like Napoleon Hill said in Think and Grow Rich, "The only way to accumulate wealth is to render valuable service" which I believe is a golden principle regardless of the business model. And Google knows this, if they go after shortterm money in the form of getting affiliates to spend on Adwords, I don't think that's going to be a sustainable business model for them. Giving REAL value to their users will be the correct thing to do.
What would you do, if you were Google?
Let some article directories or thin affiliate sites filled with copied and pasted (or rewritten; repurposed; spun content or whatever you want to call it) content OR authority sites like WebMd, MayoClinic, or CNET [EDIT: or other numerous genuine websites/blogs e.g.TechRadar in tech field, SEOMoz in SEO field] that truly helps you solve a problem rank on page 1?
How many of us Amazon marketers seriously add something more than Amazon.com mentions on their product page? How many of us marketers have actually bought the physical product or digital PDF (in case of ClickBank) and done a genuine review that is not available anywhere else?
Not trying to be a smart ass here. In my case, this update had a minimal impact on my sites compared to previous Pandas and Penguin. But I'm determined to change my business model and ADD VALUE TO THE WEB. Are you?