First I've heard of TrustRank, thanks for the education Voasi. It is interesting that Google, who favors automated solutions, seems to be finding it necessary to increasingly return to human judgement.
It seems to me that it is in everybody's (except the gimmick crowd) interest that sites be judged purely on quality.
Imagine a web where webmasters spent _all_ their time on creating quality content because _that_ was what their success depended on, not SEO and various marketing schemes. Isn't that what Google wishes we would do? Isn't that what users wish we would do? Isn't giving Google and users what they want actually a fairly clever strategy?
Wouldn't it be a lot easier to pursue this common sense strategy if we didn't have to think about marketing, which is not really an activity that adds value to the Web?
Suppose Google created a separate search tool called "Best Of Google" or some other better name.
This engine would be based entirely on human reviewed sites. The crawlers would only crawl approved sites.
It would be a badge of honor webmaster's could aspire to. Imagine that official "Best Of Google Badge" hanging proudly from your logo.
And the Best of Google tool would give users a shortcut to the best sites. As surfers, we really don't care about 95% of the Web, right?
Give us the good stuff!
Yes, DMOZ already attempts this. But, as I understand it (I may not) you can't actually search all the pages of all the sites listed in DMOZ from one search box. And DMOZ is volunteer based, which is groovy, but not a good model for a serious web service, imho.
Finally, imagine that somebody at Google is already working on this. Imagine the billions of dollars and hours that have been invested in SEO, Martel style filler content, clever gimmick schemes, etc etc, going up in smoke the day after Google releases the Best Of Google.
I think we'd all be wise to not get too emotionally attached to business models based on the current search engine setup, because the Net is still young enough for it all to change over night.