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From my own experiences AS A USER, I would give Google a rating of 8/10.
So AS USERS, how do other people rate Google? Forget dance issues, page-rank, etc. can you as a user find the information you want?
1: Typically, the most SEO'd sites will be where the most money is.
2: The most money is there because that's what users are interested in.
3: If all these sites suddenly vanished from the Google index, the users would care because most of what would be left behind would be dross.
Nonsense. The "most SEO'd sites" are likely to be cookie-cutter affiliate sites that offer the same goods and services at the same prices as countless other sites. If all of the boilerplate affiliate pages for hotels, system utilities, digital cameras, computer accessories, etc. disappeared from Google tomorrow, users would still be able to find what they wanted to buy.
In any case, Google's objective is to rank sites according to their content, not according to their owners' skills at "aggressive SEO." If you're trying to build a business for the long term and you count on referrals from Google for much or most of your traffic, it's wise to think in terms of added value for the reader and not just for yourself.
1. yes its true, with maybe a few exceptions, that any area that attracts a lot of eyeballs, commercial interests will move in.
BUT (and this is where the reasoning falls down),
2. these "commercial interests" may not use SEO to a great extent. Its smart to use basic skills of document design, correct relevant titling, clear navigation, and simple clean coding, but the REAL commercial interests are not so interested in the "darker" elements of SEO, preferiing to build a brand by on and off line promotion budgets far execeeding SEO budgets. Most importantly, the smart ones now know that SEO is nowhere near as effective as when search engines were nascent and developing and were full of holes, and both SEO and SEs have become much smarter.
3) Therefore it does not follow that if SEO sites were taken from the index we would be left with just dross. Even though Europeforvisitors expressed it more starkly than some may want, I agree it may remove a heap of what i call "opportunistically SEO's sites" which includes many affiliate an second party sites, and many SPAM sites, making the really professional designed and targeted sites more obvious to the searcher, whether they use SEO or not.
The result may be to imporve search functionality for users, whether they use Google, Y!, ATW, or Ink engines.
One of my domain, I decided to retire it from the internet(don't ask me why), it's not expired yet and out of a habit I just parked it in my web hosting domain.
Obviously, Googlebot came and refresh the old domain. Guess what? I'm #1 on a very competitive keyphrase and that phrase cannot be found in the pages, title, and internal anchor. How I get to #1 I have no clue :)
Problem is, I'm getting 400-700/day of traffic and has nothing to do with web hosting :).
I know I parked the old domain but ironically I was never in a high ranking position for that keyprhase when the site was up(several years) now that it's totally removed from the internet I suddenly become #1 :)
Now, I'm confuse, whether to bring back up the site or removed it from parking.
At last google seems to be returning to normal and back to the SE we all love. I hope google will change in the future through evolution not revolution. My confidence is being restored. Change should be a very slow thing as I think google worked pretty damn well before this latest algo.Google are number one SE worldwide lets hope we don't go through all this again next month.