Play_Bach - 1:33 pm on Jan 5, 2013 (gmt 0)
> the fact that Google can (and probably will) shut the spigot off
I'd say they have been turning the knob harder to the right since 2005 when I first saw the Froogle shopping bags on top of the organics. Then came the ads on top. Those layout changes alone took a big bite out of whatever traffic Google had been sending my way. Then came Panda, Penguin, EMD and brand bias to turn the knob all but closed.
Fortunately, my main site is old and established in it's niche. Search traffic is just 30%, the rest is direct and referral. My other sites are not so fortunate and rely much more on search traffic which in 2013 has all but dried up. As a consequence, I'm investing much more energy in seeing what can be done to offset that loss by boosting their Facebook and Twitter presence. So far, it's not helped much, but I see it as a better use of my time than trying to appease Google. That ship has sailed.