NickW, now at Performacing has an Exclusive: Google Talks About Splogs, Ranking & More. He talks with Nick about Google's initiatives with blogs, the blog spam problems and solutions and some other topics. Here is my favorite Q & A.
Q. Can you give the Performancing readers a few tips on ranking in Google?
I wouldn't bother with year/month/day in blog urls; I'd just use the first few words from the title of the post in the url. Don't try to rank for a huge phrase at first--pick a smaller niche and get to be known as an expert there, and then build your way out and up. Controversial posts are sure to build links, but too many controversial posts may undermine your credibility. I think you attract more links with a conversational style, humor, and doing your own research to produce new insights or tidbits of info. In my opinion, just commenting on other blogs isn't as useful. There are a lot of ways to build a reputation, from having a great blog to producing a unique service to speaking at conferences. A single creative idea that catches fire in the blogosphere or digg.com is probably more useful than just chasing/buying/trading links. Original information or research is great bait to attract links. :)
I posted a thread on this topic at our new Search Engine Roundtable Forums