Like or not, Google is only strengthening its position as the world’s leading search engine. Google’s engineers are constantly trying to improve its search engine results. One of the directions it is heading in I believe, is creating a trust value for all websites. Sites with a higher trust value will tend to achieve higher rankings.
SEO experts earn their living by helping their customers achieve higher rankings for certain keywords. They do this in a number of ways, such as buying links, improving the title tags on a site and writing or rewriting articles to focus on certain keywords.
Google has long placed a higher level of trust on older sites. Content needs to be added slowly over time; similarly with inbound links, they need to be built up gradually. I suspect that Google’s algorithms will place greater emphasis on these factors in the future. One of the initial factors which made Google successful was that it rated sites based on the number of incoming links. Webmasters caught onto this quickly and a whole industry has been built around the buying and selling of links.
Google is onto the selling of links and there could be a point where selling links is done totally for the purpose of getting traffic, than for SEO. Building a completely new website that follows all of the rules is going to get more and more difficult without spending a great deal of money on advertising to get an initial burst of traffic and even then there is no guarantee that the site will get the all important number of natural incoming links to achieve rankings in the search engines.
There are a number of ways to value an existing website. Often valuations are done on a factor of say 10 or 12 times monthly earnings. However, for an older site that: ranks well in the search engines, has a large number of non-paid incoming links and has most of the site indexed, I believe that people are going to put much higher values on these sites.
If you have a business that sells mortgages for example and want to build a website that has various information on loans and mortgages, it is going to be near impossible to get inbound links if search engines continue to try and discount links. Another option for the mortgage company, other than spending a huge amount of money on advertising and marketing, would be to purchase an existing property or finance information site, that possibly contains user-generated content. They could then use the site to promote their own business.
Recently there has been a great deal of discussion about Web 2.0 and several sites being sold for large amounts of money. Many of these sites have almost zero revenue. I don’t believe that this a trend that will go on for much longer. Larger companies are going to see the value in long established websites with well written and useful information that have been built up slowly over time.
For website owners who are prepared now to be patient, work hard in developing their sites they could be rewarded for their effort in the not too distant future, that is if they are prepared to sell.