@AlyssaS - no I don't think you're being harsh - because what you're saying makes no sense from a business perspective at all! And I don't understand why you want to narrow this to me and my website, when we're discussing the broader spectrum of sites affected and how we should be encouraging surfers to explore alternative search engines to avoid being played.
The search market is far too heavily polarised. It is not in the interest of any web business to be dependent on a single source of traffic, but the alternative should not be - Oh I'm marginalised by Google - I'll satisfy myself with trying to scrape a living from the remaining 10% of the internet that Google doesn't control.
The alternative is for us to reshape the internet into a healthy economy where we can all run our websites as we see fit without fear of losing a significant volume of our traffic when we drop on one search engine.
I'm sure that even people inside Google would agree that having several search engines driving more traffic is better for businesses than just one source. It may not be good for Google but it is just common sense.
You say there is no anti-trust issue.
I don't trust them. Several people on this thread don't trust them. Several million website owners around the world with good content who were adversely effected by Panda don't trust them. The US and EU are investigating anti-trust claims against Google.
So AlyssaS - why don't you think there's a trust issue? If Google claims Panda is about quality, why do their search results still suck? I've seen decent sites replaced by sites that are just plain vanilla that are likely to make you bounce so high you'll hit the ceiling! Or click on Adwords, of course.
'because G deemed it to be OK' - spoken like a fully paid up Panda hugger.
I want a search engine to search - I'll deem if it's OK!
Running an alleged quality update on a site wide basis just makes no sense at all, especially when quite trivial infractions across a small percentage of the site can result in a low overall score. This is narrow minded - conveniently skewed search.
If I could see quality and integrity in Google's search results, then yes, I would say I need to address some issues in my site. But it isn't just me. Other sites in my industry which are more comprehensive have also been hit hard.