Webwork - 3:47 am on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)
Value (From user's perspective) + "atomization" of inbound traffic (Ask Justin Sanger) with focus on "traffic that converts" (Ask anyone who understands "conversion optimization").
That's ALL any SE hugger will EVER need to know. No kidding. That's the present and/or inevitable equation for business survival in the virtual/click traffic world. You can stop researching, reading, whatever: Perceived Value + Traffic Atomization (relevant link diversity, reference diversity) + Conversion (traffic targeting optimization + destination/landing page optimization) Science.
Full stop! IF SEs aren't focused on value to users they will fail. Ditto you. If you aren't focused, like a laser beam, on conversion optimization/metrics YOU will lose out to competitors who get it.
But many/most of you won't. You'll keep looking for the (latest) answer. Keep chasing the algo. Adjusting. Tweaking. Changing. Consulting. Chasing your perception of the ramifications of the latest algo tweak, filters, etc.
"That" Yoda said "is why you fail". :-/ [youtube.com ]