We previously brought you a video report in which Bruce Clay made a claim that “ranking is dead.” In the above WPN video, Matt Cutts of Google responds to that assertion. Matt does not completely agree with Bruce that “ranking is dead” but does announce that it is not as important as it once was.
There’s a lot more to SEO than just ranking number one in Google for a key phrase. Since searches based on personalization and localization are becoming more and more prevalent, Matt echoes Bruce’s words that the central focus for SEO’s should be traffic and conversions.
With all these innovations, the game is changing for SEO’s. Matt says they are now marketers and need to embrace universal search by integrating video, images, books, etc. As far as Google trends go for 2009, they will affect SEO’s as well. Matt reports how black hat SEO is “getting more malicious” and shamelessly illegal.
In summary, SEO’s need to be aware of these actions and act accordingly. They need to decide where they stand on legal and ethical issues and how they will adjust their strategies to compatibly adapt to these new trends.