very good point! I'd like to expand on this.
What are we expecting from a good search engine? do we expect to be pampered with what is already popular? Does popularity equal quality?
Who thinks Hamburgers from McDonalds or Burger King are popular food, or Donuts from Krispy Kreme for that matter? Well they clearly are!
Who thinks these food are quality food? What quality do I expect? Well the incrediences should be fresh and the preparation should be hygenic. I believe they are, I can even watch the Donuts at Chrispy Kreme rolling down the coveyor belt.
Who thinks they are good quality in terms of healthy food? Well they provide me with some calories, but not a great diversity or balance for nutritional value. They all certainly lack vitamins and essential minerals, my body needs.
Who thinks they are a quality meal in terms of tingling my taste buds and providing a well roeunded experience, that I might enjoy and remember. Well they do, if consumed sporadically (fat and sugar was always a graving of mine), but I couldn't eat them every day or even more than once a day.
The point I try to make here is: Search engines should deliver quality answers to my query, not what other people think is hip or popular. This might be an interesting aspect of research or for comparison (such as how popular is my competition or who are the most popular three in a certain field?), but for quality results it does not really matter.
Also quality is not just a one dimensional measurement. As in the food example I can measure different dimensions of quality and not be able to compare one over the other (but I can weigh them according to a particular goal in mind).
Therefore I'd really stay away from any attempt to mix popularity in the ranking. And Alexa allows me to retrieve the info about popularity already. So I do not need ExactSeek to slant my search results. I'd rather like the apparent google approach, to put new sites on top of the heap and let them sink on their merrits (link popularity, content network, content actuality, subject focus). But the best of all worlds is diversity in search engines and algorythms. Because in different situations I find different SE do best. So lets keep discussing new approaches and lets spread the word about those that give us (and others) quality results = value.
My five cents