Web developers who stick to the straight and narrow when page building may be likely to be rewarded with the institution of Google local and personalised search facilities.
Gord’s interview with Matt Cutts discusses at length some of the new directions Google is currently taking.
Matt: I wouldnâ€™t say that itâ€™s necessarily the nail in the coffin, but itâ€™s clearly a call to action, where thereâ€™s a fork in the road and people can think hard about whether theyâ€™re optimizing for users or whether theyâ€™re optimizing primarily for search engines. And the sort of people who have been doing â€œnewâ€ SEO, or whatever you want to call it, thatâ€™s social media optimization, link bait, things that are interesting to people and attract word of mouth and buzz, those sorts of sites naturally attract visitors, attract repeat visitors, attract back links, attract lots of discussion, those sorts of sites are going to benefit as the world goes forward. At the same time, if you do choose to go to the other fork, towards the black hat side of things, you know youâ€™re going to be working harder and the return is going to be a little less. And so over time, I think, the balance of what to work on does shift toward working for the user, taking these white hat techniques and looking for the sites and changes you can implement that will be to the most benefit to your user.