The news from the Official Google blog is that they've been playing around with their algorithms to ensure that we get news that's as fresh as can be. They make the point that if you're interested in the Olympics, you're probably interested in 2012, and not some other one. They also are at pains to talk about what news means - if you're interested in a tv show, new news might be up to a week old, while if you're interested in the current economic situation in Greece, old news might only be an hour ago, so Google has to work out what is what. That's fine, and I understand it.
Searchengineland make the point that this could impact 35% of all searches, and that's an absolutely huge number. While Google is focussing on the 'news' angle, I wonder to what extent they're focussing on the subject angle. For example, if there's some sort of event going on around a celebrity for example, a whole bunch of people are going to be talking about them, so Google will, I assume, rank that news really highly. However, I come along, don't know who the celebrity is, and want to find out the basics. Does this mean that their site gets pushed down the rankings? That doesn't make my search easier, with better results, it actually makes it a lot worse. And what if I do want to know about the Olympics that took place in 1936? This change doesn't actually help at all - at best it will have no effect, but at worst it will make it much harder for me to find the information that I need.
Time will tell, and I'm happy to be proved wrong, but if SearchEngineLand is right, and this does impact in 1/3rd of our searches, that's a huge change and not one to be taken lightly.