---- Google algo moves away from links, towards traffic patterns
ronburk - 2:04 am on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)
This will make it virtually impossible for the little guy to succeed. The top 10 results will be based on the well established sites.
Google can (and has, in my opinion) throw lower-ranked listings up towards the top periodically to test whether they are attractive to visitors. This gives little guys a shot at proving they have something relevant that Google users want. (Increases the importance of crafting your SERP listing well -- just like AdWords advertisers get big rewards for crafting their ads so they appeal to users).
The keyword space is huge. Well-established sites tend to "pig-out" on relatively few keywords that are high-traffic. Pick any hyper-competitive term, and a little guy can still chip away at dozens of 4-word related terms with relative ease. Google always has and always will rely on the "long tail" for their success -- that means they remain sensitive to giving the little guy a shot at some traffic.
The well-established sites often are structurally unable to go after the long tail -- or even the part of the tail that's just slightly less thick. The lions get the choice steak, but the vultures never go hungry -- and they never have to get into fights with lions.
A question nearer and dearer to me currently is: Does traffic influence Googlebot visitation frequency and, if so, to what degree?