Tallon - 3:19 am on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)
I really think it all boils down to one thing, at the end of the day Google has a finite amount of unique visitors to spread around to us. As long as we play by the rules we are allowed an allowance of those visitors up to a point.
In a weird way, that's almost a relief to hear. If all sites in a niche were treated the same (allowed only so much traffic), I'd feel much better about it. Some are allowed much much more, why? Who knows. Maybe big, financed brands get a pass because they can afford fancy lawyers and google doesn't want the headache.
I'll sit and think hard til year end (watching stats) before making a final decision, but at this point I'm thinking it's time to "reset" things myself and look at pulling the plug to invest and dev. things elsewhere. Maybe do a 10% time/effort into the site to keep the site rolling minimally then the rest into a "sister" domain of some sort (that won't cannibalize the main domain's search traffic or links). It kinda sucks to pull the plug because I have a big pile of stuff waiting to upload into the site, but won't because of the reasons I mentioned previously. There's just no reason to hand feed it to my competitors.