shazam - 8:21 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)
I personally don't think the fuzzy black and white bear has much to do with it. It's still entirely possible to get top rankings with panda. It's all the "features" that have pushed people into the unemployment line or towards adwords. A top organic result simply doesn't bring the quality or quantity of traffic that it used to and it's only going to get worse. They will expand this into all the profitable niches.
The only Panda related part of the equation is the move to make it harder to CHOOSE your keywords. Before you could devote your whole site to 'little green widgets with polka dots' and have a good chance of ranking for these keywords. Now your titles will get rewritten and depending on the verbiage and how it bounces off the lsi algo's, you may very well loose any chance of ranking for this term. You could hire a PHD in little green widgets with polka dots to provide the most useful and relevant information and if his writing style and choice of words/phrases is "wrong" then your site gets canned.
I see it as a two pronged attack:
1. Push the organic results down.
2. Make it harder for sites to choose keywords. ( to a much lesser extent at this point)
I personally think it's extremely helpful for making business decisions to have one's eyes wide open about such matters. Ignoring the obvious and throwing away money, time, and other resources is silly in my opinion. There are still many niches out there that goo hasn't started destroying and there are other traffic sources.