We're in the General Search Engine Promotion and Marketing Issues forum, addressing the OP's question, which was SE-neutral. Comments especially in the form of rants about one SE serve no useful purpose and do not constructively advance the discussion. We all know the market shares of the engines and the differences between them. But Webmasters need to make choices about sites, even if one engine is most often top of mind.
One of the most common issues Webmasters face is allocation of resources. And one of the most common questions I hear has do with content creation versus link building and marketing. I feel the pain felt by those asking that question. Been there, done that.
EFV, your comment is IMHO not without merit, but it comes from a very narrow perspective; that of a site owner who already enjoys good multi-engine rankings by virtue of running a well aged, with above average content.
I'll buy into the fact that sites with good content, that ALREADY rank, tend to get a nice array of new, varied, valuable links as time goes on. Why is that? Ummm, because they already rank. Hence they get found, and people link to them.
That was the motivation behind my later post asking if, "Anyone think(s) the discussion changes depending upon how old the site is? Or, perhaps it's sites that are not ranking, versus those that have at least some traction in the SERP's?"
One of the worst things to happen to search engines IMO was the heavy move to links-based algo's, and the effort to identify "authoritative" links. Not that it was a bad idea. But for those who where watching the search landscape over the last seven or eight years as the SE's moved to more links-based screening criteria, something dreadful was going on. Small and medium sized sites, including some exceptional ones, starting falling out of the SERP's either because they did not have enough links, or because they mainly traded links with similar sites (recips), or because they lacked proximity to core crawl starting points, or because they did not have enough links from "relavant" sites in their "neighborhood".
And what was happening while all those little gems were getting buried? Mega sites started dominating the SERP's. Honestly I don't need the SE's to find wikipedia, or CNN, etc. I do need help finding nice little gems of sites created by hobbyists, afficionados, college professors, librarians, artists, and so on, who used to rank, but whose only crime in today's environment is precisely that of creating content for users without understanding site architecture, algorithms, or link baiting.
I feel really sorry for the new Webmaster launching a new site today, no matter how high the quality. Short of miraculous content, a new social media app, or better pictures of Paris than anyone else has, it's an increasingly long, hard road. Or, they can hire an expensive SEO consultant. Just ain't right.
Links baby. For the new site owner today, it's all about links. Don't kid yourself.
[edited by: caveman at 6:13 am (utc) on Sep. 14, 2007]