As you may know, on May 11, 2010, a Google patent was approved that distinguishes link-weight based on the probability that a user would click on it. If that doesn’t make sense to you, check out Bill Slawski’s Google’s Reasonable surfer post and Eric Enge’s SEO Implications of Google’s Reasonable Surfer.
To me, one of the most interesting suggestions is Google’s use of click data to value a link. In other words, the more the link is actually clicked, the more valuable the link.
In addition to all the technical information surrounding the reasonable surfer, the most compelling aspect is simply that it makes sense. If links are more likely to be clicked by a random surfer, they are probably enhancing the user’s experience (the core goal of any search engine).
This latest refinement of the algorithm may be among Google’s most effective. It also provides a great opportunity to distinguish your site from some of the more “spammy” sites in your space.
By valuing and devaluing links based on the reasonable surfer model, the more common “commodity-type” link building strategies will continue to lose traction with the search engines.