dvduval - 8:13 pm on Mar 2, 2012 (gmt 0)
I've been fortunate in that I built a business that does not depend on Google. That said I have taken quite a blow since the beginning of Panda. Probably what is most perplexing is there really is no clear explanation why the search results changed.
We have been the leader of our niche for about 6 years now with no competitor even half as big yet we rank about 15th for our main keywords. So often now people try the other products first and then switch over to our product.
We've got something like 10 million links pointing to our site from 1000s of domains. We purchased VERY little advertising over the years, and never sold links on our site. We just did something that was viral and still is today.
I don't completely understand what happened, but I just view Google now as a corporation that solely based on profit, with the possibility of manipulation to increase profits, but not increase benefit to users. There are now more links to ads than organic search results for all major searches.
For me, I am "ruled" by my employees and my customers, not shareholders. There are people I care about, and this gives me a lot of motivation to keep going.
Increasingly, I don't even look at google search results any more. I have found the places on the web that are important to me, and google is becoming more of an occasional tool I use, and less a staple.
The main product I still use is Gmail.