I’ve been very upfront with people regarding the future of search engine optimization. Google’s latest announcement further signals that Google’s goal is to deliver the best search results to each individual person.
From the Official Google Blog: Stars make search more personal
We’ve long believed that personalization makes search more relevant and fun. For nearly five years, we’ve been tailoring results with personalized search. Today we’re announcing a new feature in search that makes it easier for you to mark and rediscover your favorite web content — stars.
What this means is that search engine results are very different from person to person. Google gives you the tools to make your search experience better. Stars is clearly there for this particular use case: You find a site one day, give it a star because you want to remember it, and then days/weeks/months from now when doing a similar search, your starred results are given priority. It is a great tool that improves your personal search experience.
That said, it is harder and harder to find the silver bullet that will get your business website onto the first page on Google, especially if you are trying to be first for everyone globally. Google is now (and has been for a while) delivering results based on your IP address, geography, and in some cases, social connections. However, on the local level, it is getting easier for smaller businesses to be relevant online in the same ways that they are traditionally relevant.