If you keep an eye on things that are happening on Google, you will find some interesting things going on at this moment.
Ranking and Google Changes
First I want to point you to two video's from webpronews.com, the first one is an interview with Bruce Clay about this presentation Ranking is Dead where is looks at how Universal search is going to effect your Search Engine Page results.
The other one is at the same site, but now an interview with Matt Cutts on some of the Changes at Google were he talks about some of the things that Bruce Clay pointed out.
From both interviews you can see that Universal Search is going to target your search result pages based on previous searches and Local Search results based on IP address.
The latter is af course already in place where Google will use IP country ranges to lead you to other Data Centers and gives local and country language specific results.
Universal search is mostly referred to as showing results based on your previous searches , but this time even if you are not logged into your Google mail account!
That might scare some privacy concerned people… take into account that Google, Live and Yahoo already have a lot of information on your search history, be it via cookies, or via your DSL Provider that gives you a nice IP address.
That IP address wil stay the same for a loooong time,which is great! For Search Engines that is…
Actually listening to Bruce Clay I find a lot of things he is predicting for 2009 are already in place, it is just the flick of a switch for Google to turn them on.
One other new thing you might have seen if you are logged into your Google account and you do searches is the new Searchwiki function.
Next to each Title in the result-page there are two little icons, one for UP and one for Delete, well the last one is to actually remove that result form your own search page.
So now you can get those old or not relevant results out of your own search results, but how will this effect the total results in the long run?
I can imagine Google using those results of up and delete actions to improve results in general.
If you look at large enough numbers of people "voting" on search results you could clean up the total results and make them even more relevant and up-to-date as they are now.
Afraid of your competition "voting" your site out of the results? Don't worry, as you heard before ranking is dead anyway.
But in fact I guess Google will have some algorithm in place that will show that people are trying to play the system.
The effects on SEO
Both Bruce and Matt mentioned it in their interview, as smart SEO is looking no longer at Search Page results rankings but at Conversion and is deep into analyzing his server logs.
A smart SEO is already working on Blogs, News, Images and Video to keep up with the new upcoming personalized search results and to provide your visitors with the quality content they are looking for.
But one thing I am really looking forward too is that importance of links to your site is going to be downgraded and real quality content is getting a more prominent place in the results pages.
This time driven by your own visitors that don't have spam sites but are really liking your content.