A new thread stated by Ian (mcanerin), an SEW Moderator, may be the thread of the coming week. He titled the thread SERP Overflow and Butterfly SEO where he describes what he calls "butterfly SEO."
Basically he says for many of the competitive terms (and the number of competitive terms grows daily), the top 30, 50 etc. results are pretty much equally relevant for their keyword phrase. Meaning, Result number five can be flip flopped with result number twenty-five and the end user would be just as satisfied with that result. Based on this theory, Ian is concerned that the search engines will have the "good-enough" approach and give up. But he also understands that engineers are not the type to leave "good-enough" alone. :)
So how does Ian define the butterfly SEO?
This could result in what I'll call "Butterfly SEO", where, once you get to a certain level of optimization, the things that affect your rankings are things that are less and less obvious, and more and more technical. I know for a fact that in certain SERPs you can see this effect, where something that traditionally isn't an problem, suddenly makes or breaks your rankings.
Legendary Bob Massa pulls out Ian's outstanding thread and some up Ian's concerns into one line.
How do I optimize for YOU when you go to Google?
Because that is what is going to set apart the "overflow" of the top fifty results. You and me, our personal preferences. And as an SEO, you need to start thinking about, how to optimize for the individual searching at Google and not for the keyword searching at Google.
Don't these types of threads make you just tingle. :)
Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.