Whitey - 1:51 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)
Ryan Moulton , Engineer @ Google :
A large part of SEO is just making it obvious what your page is about. This helps both the user and the search engine. A lot of it is just usability, but usability specifically for a user who is coming from a search engine.
It might be worth reflecting on the above and this statement, I referred to in another thread, in the context of the OP :
So you can spend money on all the best UI and content and it's worth zip, without people talking via signals to Google. There's limited ability to [ old style SEO ] manipulate Google's keywords without that. [webmasterworld.com...]
If I were to speculate on the weighting of ranking factors [ others may disagree ], in the order of importance it would be:
1. Brand Signals
4. Links [ essential for some sort of indexing ]
With better control over links with Penguin, I think Page Rank may have some chance of influence, if not now, sometime in the future, as link equity will be more scarce for sharing, raising it's validity again, now that many penalized sites and publishers have been squashed.
I just wonder where folks requiring links are going to get any link equity from across the net, in general terms, that doesn't run the risk of being penalized. Links require a lot more effort and risk now with siteowners /SEO's being discouraged from participating in this space.
There's definitely an aggressive stance by Google to eliminate the influence of links, but every now and then Google continue to say that links are an essential part of the web and the way a search engine works. MC reiterated that on a video a few weeks back.
I don't think the latter statement by MC should be seen to override the OP though. Not sure how SEO's feel about launching new sites if they can't get a link to kick off the indexing. The above ranking factor order [ speculative ], get's thrown about a bit when many sites rely on those factors being engineered by SEO's in reverse.