TypicalSurfer - 9:28 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)
Yes, they are.
I could be wrong, but I don't think the Google search team is trying to get rid of small businesses on purpose. I think they're just a bunch of nerds who feel they're at war with SEO.
E-commerce sites/niches are some of the most competitive around. So unless you were a big brand you had to buy links one way or another...or you didn't rank.
Right, I don't think the motive is to eliminate e-commerce sites as much as it is to fully monetize queries, in your case where the searches are what I might term "hyper-commercial" the ad space is sold out and there is not much room for further monetization. It's on the longer tail (ad space not sold out) where they are replacing commercial content with non-commercial. In your case I'd just stay on the link building, old school SEO, you have competition to beat, whereas on the other not so hyper competitive stuff you are just shut out, no competition to be found.