Here's an interesting article: The Search Engine Backlash Against 'Content Mills'.
It's not the first time I hear about something like this happening, and I have to say... I welcome the trend, albeit this is a yet another area in which my livelihood kind of depends on it (the other is link selling, another practice I wish I could get out off).
As someone who has for quite a while now been in favor of doing it "naturally", focusing on providing something you personally can believe in and know enough about, and focusing on the user experience, as opposed to building stuff for the appeasement of the search bots, I don't find this news really surprising, nor even all that bad.
This is where the future is. If you're doing something for the bot, you're not doing it right. if you're offering content on topics you know nothing about and cannot support, you're not doing it right. If you're swarming your users with ads and then call them freeloaders when they complain (as if there can be no such thing as overcharging people while simultaneously reducing the value of what you offer), you're likely not doing it right.
Content will always be king, but that refers to quality content, well supported with the provider's knowledge and built with care for the user experience, not cheap, ad overloaded, unsupported, run of the mill stuff that a lot of people are beginning to perceive as a kind of spam (of search engines).