IanTurner - 10:50 am on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)
Nice spot xcoder, tedsters post also makes good reading with the use of quotes and plus signs (something that no 'average searcher' will do)
My experiences have been similar to tedsters, but I don't do any large corporation work, just small medium business and our own sites.
What I have seen is most sites steady or growing slightly and just a few suffering problems.
From my position all our informational sites have been okay and growing - unless they were hit by penguin and one other very specific SERP layout change -> but I know the reasons for each one and can address the problem.
Small business sites have generally remained steady or grown when they have been targetting a local market and are in service industries.
Our ecommerce sites and ecommerce clients have been suffering unless they are 'extremely niche markets' with all down significantly over the last couple of years.
The interesting thing is that these small ecommerce sites have generally been reliant on long tail search terms for their traffic, they are never going to compete with 'corporate' sized businesses on major keywords (which are also those with Adwords dominated SERPs)
Changes affecting long tail and how it is handled by Google are therefore going to have a much more significant impact on small businesses - Google diverting traffic from some long tail terms to others could have a catastrophic effect for some because as what will happen is that bigger business will have more capactiy to target suggested phrases and these will then become more competitive further driving out the small independent sites.
The conclusion is that if Google is reducing the number of queries that it returns distinct results for in the long tail, then this policy is harming small/independent ecommerce sites disproportionately when compared with larger businesses.