For years I've been harping about the need for site owners to create real meaningful content for their websites. My argument has been that eventually, the search algorithms would learn the difference between a good user experience (UX) and a bad one. That day, I believe, has come.
Yesterday it came out that Google's AdWords algorithm flagged certain car ads in China as being fraudulent. No one could see why so the engineers at Google looked into it...it turns out that the algorithm was learning from all of the data that it took in and, after millions of iterations, determined that there was something wrong with these car ads. That something turned out to be a major offline crime scheme. Criminals were taking pictures of cars, posting ads, when someone answered the ad, they would steal the car and sell it to the unwary buyer.
Why is this important to us and what does it have to do with Search Engine Marketing? If the AdWords algorithm can figure out the difference between a stolen car and a legitimate sale, how difficult is it going to be for the search algorithms to tell the difference between a good|bad UX with your site? It's coming and there is only one way to be ready—do real things and give your visitors something that is relevant to their search. From an SEO standpoint, your best chance at being highly ranked for the long term is to give the searcher the very thing they are looking to read.
Some older SEO strategies are not going away any time soon (because they can indicate content relevance), but the days of being able to beat the machine are dwindling. Fortunately for you, if you are a Simpleview SEM client, we've been working at this very thing for quite some time and regularly make content recommendations to enhance your site's relevance to the travel search user. Regardless, the major reason you will beat the others to the top is because you are writing relevant content that gives the user what they want.