I stand 100% behind this statement, and i can tell you why:
*) Do you believe that Google ranking is solely determined by "authority" of a site and the quality of its content? (Google makes you want to believe this since their ranking algorithm is supposedly so great to give preference to quality content and authority sites.)
We all know that this is not true - not in the slightest!
Google rankings is not determined by how well and competent your site covers a topic.
It's determined by stupid things like number of backlinks or even syntactical structure of your site/page (like H1 tags, titles and so forth, amongst other things).
Do you seriously believe that whatever weight loss/viagra site is on page #1 in Google right now earned its position by providing quality content?
They (this includes us webmasters and SEOs too, i won't deny it!) got their rankings because they have immense budgets for doing SEO or hiring SEO specialists. THIS is why they got their rankings.
That random "made for adsense site" on page #1 in Google got their rankings because it has 15.000 backlinks.
Do you believe that those 15.000 backlinks for some crap MFA site #1 on Google came naturally?
Of course not. But obviously Google is still in the stone ages, or how would you explain this otherwise?
We can list countless competitive niches, weight loss, marketing, sales, whatever product name, YOU NAME IT.
The point is, the sites you see dominating the search engines in MANY (most?) niches get their position from SEO.
And SEO exists solely because Google's algorithms are so "easy" to be fooled it's possible to get ANY site (be it as crappy as you can imagine) to the top - the ONLY hurdle would be how much you can spend on SEO.
What about a $10.000 monthly budget for getting some competent link builders? Dont you think that 10 Grand would help YOUR site to get very high in the rankings, regardless of your niche? They must be really crappy SEOs if they wouldn't be able to do this.
Because the little webmaster already can do A LOT with a few simple programs and some time - now imagine what big companies do.
As interesting and challenging it is to be able to rank a site for a keyword (because i am a webmaster/SEO too) - as ABSURD is it at the same time.
Because i know...my competitors do the same thing!
There is nothing in the slightest "natural" going on on, it's basically a race of webmasters competing for positions for keywords: The one with the most links and the best SEO work is the one who wins!
Not the one with the best site, not the one with the most competent insight in regards to a subject.
Go on Google and do some random searches about "[PRODUCTNAME] Review". (Very funny especially in the internet marketing niche where we can assume that the majority of webmasters KNOW some tricks)
You will get a heap of garbage, pseudo sites which provide ZERO content whatsoever.
How many "real" reviews for whatever IM product can you find on Google page #1? Probably none. Because Google can't differ the crap from the good sites
Makes you wonder how many "good" sites about whatever topic are actually burried way, way behind in Google and never get traffic. Because the poor fools have no idea about SEO..and the slick ones are the ones dominating and getting all the traffic.
And now tell me that Google does NOT suck and their concept of counting backlinks and "evaluating" and ranking sites is all great.
Because it's not, not at all. It's pure garbage as long as it can be manipulated and as long as a monthly SEO budget (or number of Xrumer blasts) can be a big deciding factor for a site's ranking!
Do i only rant without a solution? Maybe.
But in my opinion, Google would have a lot to do, possibly starting with de-valuing each and ANY backlink (as a start). A backlink shouldnt count anymore, AT ALL.
Ironically, with that crazy concept of "big number of backlinks is good" Google made concepts like SPAM (links) possible in the first place. And now they are complaining that it exists...
If they would come up with other ways of ranking and completely eliminate backlinks as a factor, this would also mean that link SPAM would ultimately disappear, just as a nice side effect.