RhinoFish - 1:10 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)
"I still hold to the belief that you need to build a site that is so good that people will want to return or even tell their friends. There needs to be a good reason to link to the site. This is the part that is missing for most."
I wish this were true too. But, people who like a site, rarely link to it, because they aren't webmasters. I see bad sites at the top of the SERPs and I check their backlinks and they're the usual link pollution. By linking success and backlinks, G created many things, one of which is the link swamp.
I think it's a shame what has happened, but it is what it is. It may be partly due to my own higher expectations, and also my heightened understanding of how the engines work, but personally, I think they've moved backwards in presenting quality results.
As consumers, we should create a crowdsourcing website where we show bad examples of what the engines present...
Of course, once we attached success with the right to vote for site quality, we'd soon have polluted judges.
Just saying that I think links have become a very poor indicator of site quality, though their importance reigns supreme.