To be honest, when the thread How Fair is the Link Popularity Algorithm? was first started, I thought it would turn out to be a poor quality thread. I was wrong.
The thread asks the question, is the link popularity component of the algorithms deployed at the major search engines fair to Web pages? I know what your thinking? Life isn't fair, business isn't fair, what is fair?
But it is actually bringing in some serious players, such as Eric Ward, one of the most well respected link building speakers.
Is it fair that companies with the most money can use their budgets to build up a level of links that would be virtually unbeatable? Is it fair that these same companies can purchase huge ad space in Time Square, or a TV spot during the Super Bowl? These questions are not fair to ask. :)
So, let's move on and delve into what would be the optimal link popularity algorithm, something that can not be manipulated to benefit the rich or smart. Can it be Microsoft's concept of Block Level Link Analysis? Nah, I am sure even something as sophisticated as that can be manipulated. So what is the solution? If I knew, I would be inventing the next Google.