Bill Slawski writes on Cre8asite Forums that when you perform a search on Google with words like "to," "be," "the," or "a," you no longer see a message saying "XXX is a common word and was not included in your search." Instead, it displays all the results, so when I search for my BFF The Lisa, it takes me where I want to go without any setbacks.
On the heels of the discovery by Dan Thies, Bill believes that this may be related to a Google patent that Google is attempting to look at multi-stage query processing, which he explains as "a patent application that is listed as related to the one dealing with compression explores a way to handle queries that's somewhat different."
It hasn't been confirmed, though, if the stop words issue is a bug or a new thing that is being paved to accommodate this patent application. Barry writes at Search Engine Land that he will try to find out official word from Google.
Forum discussion continues at Cre8asite Forums