Occasionally I do vanity searches on Google. What makes the first 6 pages might affect how someone views me in the world. Up till about a year ago, my comments from numberwatch, jref, and WUWT showed up with many others. Now about all that is there are links to social sites.
Correlation and causation insert ugly anti-side. Google found ways to make correlation work for them. The SEO people found ways to make google's use of correlation work for them. Google is still better than AltaVista. The need for revenue $$$$ still exists though.