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We were already in the middle of deploying an algorithmic change in how we trust links in our scoring. So between Feb. 1st and Feb. 8th, lots of rankings for the pages in question had already dropped. The author of the NYT article, David Segal, noticed that independently and we confirmed that algorithmic changes had been responsible for those drops. After Segal contacted us, we investigated and ended up taking corrective manual action as well.

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