tedster - 12:36 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)
I do understand the dim outlook. I run into it a lot.
However, there are a few hit sites that have recovered - definitely not many, and especially not e-commerce. The successful approaches I know about always seem to include a focus on conversion optimization rather than traditional SEO methods. Focusing on the user experience with a strong value-add for the visitor seems to make a big difference.
I personally like that approach. It helps build direct traffic and goes directly after serving your market instead of using Google as a (not so dependable) middle-man. The paradox is this - there can be a Google traffic reward after you get good at user experience. But it's not because you went directly after rankings. Year old rankings are not a really workable goal anymore. Things have just changed too much.