The phrases “search engine optimizaton” and “rankings” have gone hand in hand since the start of the search marketing industry. Agencies have gone so far as to use “rankings” as part of their name such as Jill Whalen’s High Rankings, David Wallace’s “Search Rank” and of course, our company “TopRank”.
With the advent of personalization and impending changes with the interface of search results, the notion of ranking seems to be on it’s way out. In the past 3-4 years, most SEO consulting firms have been focusing on traffic and especially the past 2-3 years on conversions. Standard search engine rankings as a proxy to sales will become irrelevant, especially as other channels of search have emerged in popularity.