mcskoufis - 4:32 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)
my argument would be look at the SERPS, the bigger national brands crushing the independent sites local and national, relevance has been replaced with brand/site power over on page content.
I do disagree CaptainSalad2! As I am working for major brands, I've had difficult time to rank for competitive keyword terms. Even with blogs and low quality sites appearing above the brand site in the SERPs.
One way to explain the domination of major brands in many (not all) search results is their immense linking power. Have given this example in another thread. Think of the links Apple gets each time there is a new product out or something else happens and is all over the news. How many linkless citations?
The reliance on links on behalf of Google that gives them top rankings makes sense to me... Ebay, Amazon and the like have tons of links to them. Natural organic links that is, not intentional link building. Whether that is an acceptable ranking signal is another story.
Regarding the initial GoodROI post, there is lately loads of hype from Google in the authorship and rich snippets front. Even though this is clearly helpful advice and really matters to many webmasters, it diverts attention from what makes a site rank high.
And I think this is intentional, so webmasters focus there instead of getting to understand what link building means to Google's algorithms (and other critical on-page and on-other-page practices).
Google would never provide clear insight on what really makes you rank in the top search results. If authorship was so good, you would see sites dominating all top spots. This ain't happening IMHO and it ain't gonna happen (see loads of abuse already).
It does help though, but think it is not the critical ranking factor. Google will never help webmasters this way cause this help will fuel abuse (I.e.: everyone will do it).
So "let them focus more on authorship and much less in what they should be focusing" is Google's strategy IMHO. And totally understand that.