For example, in the last 2 years, search has weighed inbound quality links much more heavily than just having the right meta tags on your page. Expecting to get top ranking for competitive keywords by just having the proper tags is naive today. There are thousands of sites that have the proper tags, but only 10 results on the first page. Furthermore, you also now have map results, image results and social media results you are competing with.
To that end, Google is also now showing personalized results. Depending on your location, social network circles and browsing history, it will show you different results that someone else searching for the same phrase.
Now, Google is employing a Knowledge Graph Approach which will affect future search. Here is a story from Mashable:
Google Knowledge Graph Could Change Search Forever
Google has a confession to make: It does not understand you. If you ask it “the 10 deepest lakes in the U.S,” it will give you a very good result based on the keywords in the phrase and sites with significant authority on those words and even word groupings, but Google Fellow and SVP Amit Singhal says Google doesn’t understand the question. “We cross our fingers and hope someone on the web has written about these things or topics.”
The future of Google Search, though, could be a very different story. In an extensive conversation, Singhal, who has been in the search field for 20 years, outlined a developing vision for search that takes it beyond mere words and into the world of entities, attributes and the relationship between those entities. In other words, Google’s future search engine will not only understand your lake question but know a lake is a body of water and tell you the depth, surface areas, temperatures and even salinities for each lake.
To understand where Google is going, however, you need to know where it’s been.