Interview with Googles Matt Cutts
Cutts said, "I'm not sure I would say ranking is dead but it's not as important as it used to be. The fact is the smart SEOs are not just necessarily looking at the rankings. They are looking at conversion, they are looking at their server log. It's great if you're ranking for a phrase but unless that leads to sales that doesn't help you very much."
"The challenge is not to pay so much attention to ranking, pay attention to traffic, pay attention to conversions and keep building good content and don't worry about 'can I show people that I rank number one for my trophy phrase.'"
Universal Search In 2009
"Universal is really useful and I think it will continue to expand and what that means in 2009 you can't just think of yourself as an SEO," said Cutts.
"SEOs are starting to embrace the fact that they are marketers. It's a broader spectrum. You have to think about how you build buzz, how do you get loyal customers, how do you optimize your ROI. All those different things and that can include how do I make good videos, do I have a book, things like that."
Cutts says that people will continue to pay attention to video and images in 2009 but noted a down side. "Of course anywhere there is money there will be spam." Google has been focusing on its different properties to manage the spam issue.
Google has gotten better on Flash and submitting a video to video sitemaps is really helpful in getting onto Google Video Search. "We want to be able to present video from all kinds of places," said Cutts.
Video File Format
"Whatever file format you want to use is totally fine."
Cutts says that just because search engines are getting better at Flash does not mean mobile is. On mobile devices you can't just think about search engines. You have to think about the user experience.
Competing with Black Hat SEO
"Black Hat SEO is getting a little more malicious. In a world where Black Hat is moving towards really illegal things as an SEO you have to decide your risk tolerance and do I really want to try to compete with people who are doing illegal stuff or do I want to make a long term site that's gonna stand the test of time."
There is no real advantage to using Subdomains. If you have a lot of Subdomains that can be a lot of work. You don't want to overdo it. Really it's what ever is easiest for you.