It was almost 3 weeks ago today that Google posted on their corporate blog about some changes to the personalized search sign-up process. Danny covered this development quite nicely in a very comprehensive post, looking at the specifics of the announcement and what it means for users.
The announcement and the subsequent posts have set off a minor firestorm of blogging activity as many of us, myself included, have joined in the debate of what personalized search means, both for users and for the SEO industry. My position has consistently been that personalization of search results is inevitable. It's the foundation for improving the search experience in the future.
This is not really a new message, as the engines, particularly Google, have been touting the benefits of personalization for some time. In fact, it was a strategic initiative that was mentioned by Eric Schmidt in a speech dating back to 2003. For many of us, the recent Google announcement served as a warning that personalization's day is rapidly approaching and the day of the universal search results page will soon be over for many queries.