Lapizuli - 4:00 pm on Aug 24, 2010 (gmt 0)
Has anyone seen this search result type for a query for which they would NOT have wanted to go straight to the website in question? (I haven't seen it yet in any of my personal searches, whether I wanted the website or not.)
As to Google wanting to kill SEO - I agree, but can I respectfully say, of course it does?
SEO is something made for search engines, not webmasters. If search engines were as smart as people, then they'd never have needed any SEO triggers to discern relevance. But the ultimate goal for a "smart" search engine like Google is to automate dynamic, organic-like artificial intelligence. To figure out what users want and give it to them using their own "perceptive" abilities, not information fed them by woefully inconsistent, unpredictable, uninformed (who has the data Google has?) and in some cases untrustworthy (well, definitely not disinterested) SEO experts. They tell us what SEO they need, then they try to wean themselves away from it.
I'm not saying I like it, just that's what seems to be happening. In a sense people are search engines - when we're asked a question, we try to figure out what the asker's intentions are, what the underlying question is. Wouldn't you rather speak the same language as the questioner than rely on translators telling you what they think the person is saying?
Getting to that stage will take a while, and yes, it feels unfair, not to mention seriously scary. But every time we use SEO we encourage the search engines to learn more and grow out of our "nurturing."