I'm new to the game that is SEO and my opinion is that it kind of makes a mockery of the standard search results. There is an industry built up trying to convince primarily google that the sites they manage are the de-facto source of the information the planet is looking for.
This is obviously nonsense.
There are millions of websites out there with no effort made to make them more "crawler" friendly and they contain great content. Many small time operators just do not know that this is how it works. They believe if they create a good website the googlebot will pick them up and rank them accordingly. Any search engine that can actually do this is an absolute winner but there are none and I doubt there ever will be because whatever algorithms the search engines use the SEO industry will warp to get their sites on top.
Now eventually a small operator may begin to break into the results after time and alot of very good content and a loyal audience but then a new young savy startup will come along spend the SEO dollars and jump to the top again with a fraction of the content and a negligable audience but because of manipulation of tags and links will be made to look like the new source of all knowledge to the googlebot.
In my opinion the search engines using link counts as an important factor is flawed. Links in blogs and forums and various directories can all be manipulated to make a site look pervasive.There should be a definate manually defined ranking system for links to grade them which I'm sure they try to do but if the SEO experts can still through slight of hand get a site well ranked then it's just not working well enough.
Who am I to preach I'm jumping on the same bandwagon, sure this blog was originally concieved as a source of potential links too.....but sure hey what can you do.