Many internet users assume that, while sponsored links on search engines are bought and sold, regular results are based purely on relevance. Not true. Search engine optimisation (SEO) software enables firms to bury coded words into their web pages, forcing them up the lists of results. SEO is a black art and doesn’t come cheap: some companies pay thousands per month to SEO providers (Google receives no money) to have their sites tweaked.
It's particularly unfortunate that someone comes out with an article claiming this at a time when it's harder to purposefully manipulate the SERPs than previously.
Also I'm not that sure what the point of the article is at all: It's hard to get to the top of a competitive field and may take both time and money - err, welcome to the real world.
My other favourite line is:
Some of these are emerging as the new giants of online travel, others are obscure little sites put together by enthusiastic amateurs.
That one really cracked me up. Aff marketers may work in their underpants but many earn more than journalists!
Anyway, all those of you who where hoping the press would pick up on the 302 issue should read what a hash up they can make of the simplest SE related issues! The mind boggles at what this guy would come out with on that topic!