Has Google put the clamp on search engine spam?

Over at Spamroll, no artifice of electronic trickery is safe from scrutiny. With that in mind, one must follow the goings on with search engine spam (see Is Google Becoming A Central Theme in Spam Wars? and Blogger gaming search engines, from the inside out for starters). So I was surprised to notice the other day that some of the PageRanks that Google is reporting seem a little off. I have found PR3’s mingling with PR8’s on the first page of some results over at Google, as well as some 6’s and 7’s hanging out with 0’s down in the bowels (like the +20th page of result).

What gives? Has Google changed their reporting to get the SEOs’, link farms’, and spammers’ wheels spinning, or have they changed their algorithm somehow, so that PageRank doesn’t matter as much as it used to? The results are still in line at the top of page 1, but the PR for some just doesn’t make sense like it used to.

My personal opinion…don’t care. The results are great, and if Google can do something to make the gamers pull their hair out in frustration, then it is nothing but a good thing. If I am missing something altogether, let me know; my feelings won’t get hurt, and I will shut my trap about it.