suggy - 9:05 am on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)
The long and short of it is that the Wild West days are over. Panda is about bringing normal human behavioural patterns to Google. Since real world business is defined by human behaviour patterns, it should be no surprise there has been a closer alignment.
You can still make a living- but not by beating the big boys in a straight fight for unqualified volume traffic.
Bottom line is, SEO is dead -- at least as it has been operating. Why? Because SEO is only about 'getting there' (to the top for your phrases) and little else. People are going to need to think a lot harder about why they should be there now and deliver real value and real sites that real people actually want to visit and revisit.
I have learned this lesson from Panda. The implication for me for Panda is that my business just isn't good enough. If the loss of speculative traffic can kill my online store off, that tells me we just aren't good enough; good enough at getting repeat visits and loyal customers. We've been chasing Google's algo when we should have been chasing customer value! Since my moment of clarity that has changed and I think my business will be a lot better for it, google traffic or not.