claaarky - 6:45 am on Jul 2, 2012 (gmt 0)
McMohan, just reading back through this thread and thinking about how relevancy would be determined if links become a thing of the past, and the logical conclusion is PPC advertising, such as Adwords.
I personally would only spend money trying to appear in ads that were relevant to my business, that were likely to generate me business. By doing that I would be inadvertently telling the organic side of Google what I see as the most important parts of my business.
If the traffic passed through the ads produces user metrics that indicate that people really interact well with my site (they like it), Google would then know my site is great for that term and could rank me accordingly in the organic results.