No, Google's "Website Optimizer" is not the search giant's answer to automation of search engine optimization. Any SEOs standing near the ledge of their couch right now can remain calm. For details, the announcement of Google public BETA for its AdWords tool, "Website Optimizer" was covered in a variety of places yesterday. Since not many have been able to test the system exhaustively yet, what is especially interesting is the debate around whether this could be seen as cloaking by some engines.
Forums have begun to chatter about this tool, which Google has packaged as a campaign performance-enhancing option for its users. At Search Engine Watch forums, the thread actually started in December of 2006, when Moderator Rob Kerry (a fellow SER author - aka evilgreenmonkey) expressed surprise that there was not more fanfare and hooplah surrounding the initial limited BETA release. The thread died down for a bit, and then picked back up earlier this month when some members began discussing issues and experiences, and others lamented that they spend gazillions a year but couldn't get an invite.
Yesterday, all those eagerly awaiting trying it out got the news they yearned for. There are a variety of other tools which are more robust, but this is a nice option for many businesses seeking to increase efficiencies, if it works as planned. Hopefully people will start posting experiences and comparing them to actual human analysis of landing pages.