Google's daily traffic is like a 24-7 DNS attack. They have managed very quickly to build massive data centers and develop algorithms that do all sorts of things: Google Translate is a great example. I have used Google for about 10 years and have always found what I am looking for in the first page or two. I have never felt a need to go elsewhere for general search, although I know that there are services like Lexis Nexis for detailed work. Maybe I have simple needs or I am good at search (more likely the former!).
Any scoring system will be gamed more easily than the algorithm. As another poster mentioned you can get 300 Facebook likes for $5. Google + will be no different.
If Google does not provide results for you, use something else. Google will either catch up or slowly lose their lead. For the moment they have more computing power and brain power than anyone else on the planet and they are focusing most of it on search.
They will continue to do well and people that create useful content will continue to do well in the long term.
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