JesterMagic - 2:49 pm on Mar 14, 2013 (gmt 0)
I like reading your posts and agree with most of them. I am in a similar situation as you. In April 2012 I experience a 30% drop and since then ever so slowly Google has clawed another 20% in a little under a year.
In April I lost a number of keywords but for the most part in the past year I have seen keywords move from spots 1-3 to 4-20 in the serps. While still appearing on page 1 is good the loss of being in the top 3 positions has lost a lot of traffic for me.
It hasn't helped things with Google Analytics slowly becoming useless with Apple not passing keywords and Firefox defaulting users to https in search.
I also think localization and mobile is playing a huge roll in things now even in industries were it doesn't make much sense.
The other problem is Google is a business and while they use to champion the small guy, and they still make buckets of money, their shareholders are getting them to squeeze more money out of search which hasn’t been growing as much as it used to. In my niche it is impossible to make money by using adwords for most of the related keywords. All the brands just outbid everybody and take it at as a loss. Plus Google will charge you more for clicks on pages you point your ads to that don’t “relate” as well with the topic. I have done a few experiments and for a page to do better in adwords I have found it will suffer in the organic results and you must throw out the book on Google’s quality guidelines.
I am going to stop venting now … I just hope Google gets their act together or they will slowly find themselves losing ground as people move to other sources for searching