I'm always curious when I see this sentiment: have you ever run a retail business before in your life? If so,
Am I missing something here? Is this not basic math? Every year, more small businesses are savvy enough to start trying to get traffic from Google. Thus, the demand for Google traffic continues to increase for the foreseable future. But (and here comes the math part) there's only 10 businesses that can be on page#1 for a given search term.
Thus, I can state with absolute certainty:
next year, many small businesses will get hit
the year after that, many small businesses will get hit
If I wasn't on page 1 for my favorite search term last year, but I am this year, then guess what? Some other small business got hit.
I'm gonna make me up some T-shirts with the Google logo on them and the title "In the end, there can be only 10."
Come on guys, it's increasing competition for only 10 slots. Is it really so hard to grasp what the outcome of those forces will look like?