brinked - 3:10 am on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
I dont think it should ever be eliminated as a factor. The thing is, years ago it was the biggest factor by far, probably like 90%+ and therefore made it easy to game google.
I will never make as much today from google as I did 5-10 years ago. I am thankful I took advantage of google and was able to build up a huge nest egg. With that said, I am now creating better websites, creating REAL businesses that are useful to the people who find these websites. So google is making the web better in that sense.
Backlinks should be 1 of MANY factors in determining how a site ranks. There will always be ways to game the system, its about making it as hard as possible so that quality sites get priority over MFA/crap sites that have no real value.