I noticed another reference the other day in Sean Ammirati's blog post quoting a Google engineer (Udi Manber) as saying that 20-25% of all searches on Google are unique--meaning that almost 1 out of 4 searches are for something that has never been searched for on Google. He also mentioned that searcher expectations and needs will continue to evolve. This makes for some interesting issues for the search engines as well as us search marketers. How can we optimize for keywords and phrases that people haven't even searched on yet?
We need to look at search in terms of relevancy and overall theme rather than exact keyword phrases. We need to provide quality content and products that will meet specific needs of the consumer, rather than just be "optimized" for a certain keyword.
Don't get me wrong, keywords are still important and will continue to be for a while, but we need to recognize the importance of being relevant outside of simple keyword phrases to build a long-term, sustainable business.