Sunday, November 23, 2008

More on the Death of Search Ranking

There was a lot of talk at the recent Pubcon about changes in search. Bruce Clay did an interview describing why ranking is dead. While it's arguable whether or not you can say ranking is dead, search engine changes have changed the search marketing game. Recent changes in personalization will have a dramatic affect.

You can see some of the search personalization changes in Google's search results now allowing users to delete results they see and promote ones they like. An example below:

I expect the tool will affect the results that user flags themselves, but Google's entire community of searchers will also have an impact on the search results based on overall blocking and promoting.

How does this affect you? As a search marketer your web presence(s) have to add value. The content needs to be clear and valuable. Moreover, your overall reputation matters more and more. This tool directly affects your search reputation but reputation is many things. It's how people rank your site, it's how they vote on comments you make in communities, it's what you say about yourself and what others say about you. Not only do you need to manage your online reputation now, but you have to pro-actively build it and promote it.