Jeff Jarvis has a thought-provoking post on BuzzMachine today, questioning the future of Search Engine Optimization as Google becomes more sophisticated about tailoring search results to the individual needs of each searcher. Those of us who encourage that sort of thing by making our search histories available to Google are getting much more relevant results pages when we search.
But does that mean that SEO is finished? I don't think so. As several of the commenters on Jeff's thread point out, it's more likely that we'll see a shift in the way SEO is done, to optimize it for as many potential customers (users, readers, whatever) as possible. It may get more difficult for marketers to game the system - and that's a plus, as far as I'm concerned. But marketers and site designers will have to use increasingly sophisticated SEO techniques to try to ensure that their sites wind up on the first page of my results - and the results of people with similar needs but different preferences.