Sage17 - 2:18 pm on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)
Unless you code (endlessly) any SE's ranking alorithm - OR you have datasets the size of the NSA - it's rare than anyone can (or should) say with certainty that any given variable has no role in ranking. There's ranking algos, spam filters and heaven knows what else that come into play.
I agree there are certain things that you will never know unless you work in the development team of SEs. However, in order to make an opinion, you donít need to work in every field. There are certain guidelines made available by the SEs; a webmaster needs to follow them. Those who have followed them have achieved success. In other words, experience has told us what is and what is not relevant to the SEO of a site.
The so-called SEO experts will tell you funny things and give you far-fetched ideas as to how to improve the ranking of a site. They donít code for the SEs either. They have to make their business viable; hence such ideas. Such claims cannot be accepted merely due to the argument that Ďnothing can be ruled outí imho.
PS. I am not denying the importance of backlinks at all. They are the backbone for the optimisation of any site.