If I worked for Google, refining their search algorithms to give the Internet users highly relevant content , these are the things that I would do:
Natural occurrence of backlinks
I would thoroughly revisited the link popularity concept by putting much more more emphasis on determining the nature of backlinks (whether they are natural or paid/arranged ones).
Reduce weight of the anchor text.
I would reduce weight of the anchor text in general and, in particularly, diminish the effect of “diluting keywords” in the anchor text on rankings. I believe it’s not natural for people to refer to web-documents choosing highly targeted and competitive keywords, such as «call recorder free – record phone calls for iphone«.
People don’t like to think hard when choosing words to link.
Instead, they often would use click here or a phrase (perhaps a quote) from the original or their own article as a link text. Choosing highly-targeted and highly competitive keywords is more like a footprint of an SEO, rather than natural linking activity.
Backlinks should only be a signal
Even if there is only one relevant keyword in the anchor text of a referring page, the referred site ranking should then be determined by consequent user activity who came to the site via the referred link.
Shift towards user activity
I would put much more weight on user behaviour once on a site referred by a link: time spent on a site and a particular page, number of pages viewed, keywords used for internal search, bookmarking in a browser, as well as whether the user returns afterwards and how often.
Users must be the ultimate judges, not the references (backlinks),
as those can be manipulated. The user on-site activity should eventually become a dominating factor in determining search relevance and, hence, search engines rankings.
You get the point? You if do, feel free to add your own ideas in the comments.
Give ranking credit to new sites
At present the Web is overflown by sites that either perform the most efficient SEO or/and PPC campaigns. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but generally speaking the present situation is lamentable: the rich gets richer, and the poor gets poorer.
With this attitude we shall continue to have domination of commercially-biased information in the Internet. But do we want this? NO, we DON’T. Aren’t we tired of this endless commercials trying to sell us what we don’t need?!.. YES, WE ARE.
Valuable, interesting, exciting information — that’s what we want. We want our thoughts to be cared for and our opinions taken into account.
To counteract this pitiful condition, I would give unquestionable (!) credit to new sites with original and frequently updated content. This would be a short period (like a few weeks and a month), during which a new site, satisfying the above mentioned criteria, is given a boost (preference) in raking despite the lack of backlinks.
The credit would stay or diminish, depending on whether the user activity on the site proves its worthiness or otherwise. After the trial period is finished, I would still leave some ranking boost for the sites that scored high in the user-attention competition.
Although this may initially give way to spammers, spawning new sites with machine-generated unreadable content, the probational period involving the user testing will “cross the t’s” and show who is who.
If search engines don’t take that or similar measures, we are risking to remain where we are, overwhelmed by annoying commercials and never having a chance to discover new gifts and talents that Internet has to offer, as those will remain unused and unseen.
Today’s Market is over-saturated, just a blind cannot see that, and the current economical crisis only proves the statement. An important, if not a major role in this belongs to the Internet and, in particular, to Search Engines.
Proceeding in the way when search engine rankings are heavily-influenced by backlink-biased algorithm not only prevents new sites entering the path of web success, but, what is worse, it overflows the Internet with commercially-biased information. This, in turn, not only doesn’t not help developing and improving the Market, it KILLS IT.
Clever minds should realise that purchasing capacity of people is limited,
and no amount of advertising, whether aggressive or enticing, will help the businessmen making more money or people buying more products.
Excessive advertisement through PPC and improved rankings manipulated by purchasing SEO services and backlinks will not increase merchant sales and make Internet users happier, but, on contrary, will increase the gap between rich and poor, slowly but surely wiping out the middle class.
This is a disastrous situation and some one must put an end to it. Who, if not the Big G — the dominator of the Internet? After all, Google’s ranking policy is to provide end-users with helpful, accurate search results, not (hopefully!) to overwhelm it with merchant-biased information.
Content should rule the web, not the amount of money one spends on SEO and advertising.