Even though Google's search algorithm has over 200 indicators in it, it has been primarily based on backlinks for some time. People eventually figured that out, and then started creating ways to generate inorganic backlinks to their website, artificially boosting their rankings. Google then, of course, cracks down on inorganic linking, and penalizes websites for links it does not like.
Maybe it is time for Google to find other ways to rank websites. I know they have over 200 different indicators, but they would not be so serious about preventing inorganic backlinks if backlinks weren't still a major part of their algorithm.
Maybe Google needs to find other ways to rank traffic?
Any ideas on what would be useful indicators?