Simsi - 8:21 pm on Jun 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
But Google is adept at spotting different signals in different verticals and makes allowances depending on topic. My guess is that in the case of the political arguments these signals wouldn't be used to affect the rankings while perhaps retail sites might see more impact.
The days of generalising over how a specific signal will affect rankings are long gone IMO. Chances are one signal could be used in different ways in different niches. Even links and content quality will impact differently depending on the niche I am sure.