The personalization of search by Google (soon to be followed by other search engines) is going to change many things. SEO is definitely going to be a tougher job, spam is going to be tougher too, search engine marketing is going to be more important than simple SEO and relevancy of search is a bright potential until the first round of feedback is in. Gordon Hotchkiss got Matt Cutts to be a lot more candid in an interview.
There is an interesting post at Search Engine Watch which looks into the future of link building in the changed scenario. Authoritative links get a new definition as links will not just be for rankings. Links will increasingly be seen as branding and marketing tools, which get you the traffic and the desired brand image. The three reasons cited in the post as to why linking is going to be more crucial are:
- Authoritative links offer value in terms of branding (speaks to point 3 above)
- Traffic that comes to your site from a relevant authoritative site will be far more likely to convert
- Search engine algorithms will still consider links as part of a ranking algorithm
As per authoritative sites, the list includes:
- Major media sites relevant to your area
- Government sites that cover the topic of your area
- School sites that have pages related to your topic
- Whomever ranks highly in the engines for terms related to your topic
- Lastly, blogs. Blogs with a high number of users who interact regularly with the site may be considered authoritative
These are only general indicators of what can be an authoritative site. The list has to be reworked for each site and each segment.