pontifex - 6:13 pm on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
I would also like to add that these discussions too often turn into "complaint raves" and I am not innocent :)
The task is to reverse engineer the results we see and implement measures to rank higher tomorrow than we do today... Some take measures Google has "blacklisted" in their world and they have ANY right to return on their pages whatever they want in the way and order they want. It is their site.
Now that said: solid SEO means to reverse engineer as good as possible and serve the pages (aka content) and links in a way to rank on #1 for a keyword.
With Google changing their layout and way they deal with their site just made the job harder: less organic space, more complicated deep linking for long tail, etc.
So, the MAYDAY update combined with the Jazz interface changed the flow of traffic on the web significantly, IMHO. And that is fine - it is still their site.
Yet - and now the complaint - it bothers me that this company ignores the power they became and that turning these knobs changes the businesses of thousands worldwide.
In their whole bubble gum world of colorful balls in the office, free food and the love from the stock market they lost touch with the consequences of their actions.
My business changed with Google 2 times in the past 8 years and I try to keep them as low as possible in my traffic mix. Yet with 45% of all traffic coming from them and all of a sudden only 20% because they turned the knobs, it is a business challenge on our side, as well.
If you want to cook it down to just "companies, numbers and money": I think that picture is incomplete!
Or to quote spidey: "with great power comes great responsibility" - see BP!
Means in this discussion: if you are Google and you massively change the SERPs and with that the businesses of thousands without real communication (feedback, announcing that upfront, etc.), you might also just start selling mobile phones and not answering the hotline for customers with troubles :-) - it is bad business practice!
I cope... my traffic slowly recovers... so no people to lay off or jumping from bridges here and my comment is more of a philosophical kind:
The online business world changed in the last 10 years and G became really important. They know it, but they do not understand the moral implications!