Facebook , Twitter , Linked In , etc etc are being talked about so much more.
Not just talked about so much more but actually being used so much more by Google and Bing. Some of the examples I've seen over the past few months demonstrating the power of social signals have completely bowled me over. For run-of-the-mill sites: Gbot visits within 80 seconds; pages indexed within a couple of hours; number one rankings within a day -- all powered by social.
And to combine and expand a bit on CainIV's and TheMadScientist's comments:
The amount of brand presence one has online has got to be my pick moving into 2011.
IMO They're focused on what 'normal people' who use their search engine want to see, visit, do online.
Yep, brands, entities, places. Google is concentrating on what 'normal people' are using search for, giving them what they want, when they want it, where they want it.
What people want it is movie times, restaurants, bars, museum exhibitions, concerts and such. They want what their friends and connections are talking about. They want it now, fresh and fast. They want it where they are, local and on their smartphones.
Now, folks I've spoken with over the past few months are going to say "Here he goes again," so I'm going to ;-).
Let's look back to September and Schmidt's "Don't underestimate the power of fast" comment. That's been mostly overlooked though it basically addresses the points above and leads directly to the Google Instant Launch Event
If you haven't watched it, do so. If you have watched it, go back and rewatch it, this time with very critical eyes and ears. Look at what was highlighted. Parse the sentences, the words, what's not said. Look at the example searches and the results. Look at what actions -- !if any! -- the user had to take to find usable information.
Don't overlook Marissa Mayer's "Fundamental shift to search." This is not a throw away comment; it signaled a sea change in how Google is looking at the web and how it is delivering results. The good part is that it is a clear, unambiguous roadmap that can be used to change or tailor our strategies going forward.