I have been checking Google`s progress with rankings and it appears that Google is clamping down on various loopholes very quickly. For example, 3 years ago, it was fairly easy to rank in the top 5 for a competitive keyword if you submitted to a couple of directories, paid for automated links and stuffed your keywords into your title tags.
Now, with the recent developments, all those easy fixes are going fast. With Google Caffeine, as far as my research goes, it is fairly difficult to rank at the top unless your website is aged, trusted and has quality content.
This might mean a huge problem for SEO specialists who sell quick fixes. Any automated bought links will quickly be neutralized by the new Google algorithm (and the target websites might even get penalized).
Google is trying its best to make sure that any absurd returns from algorithmic manipulation of search results are kept to a minimum.
This might mean that ranking high for new websites will be more difficult. This also suggests a strengthening position for old and trusted websites.
As far as I understand, the key to rank high in Google Caffeine is to:
1. Undertake marketing and SEO techniques which cannot be replicated by the masses. This puts an end to automated software, link farms and automated links.
2. Give enough time for your website to age and gain trust. Maybe buying a reputable aged domain name might help.
3. Get more content on-site. Pay more writers to publish interesting, related content on your website.
4. Get high quality links from websites which arent known to sell links.