Wilburforce - 10:26 pm on May 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
You're not ranking top 10 for a product found in stores without some serious net clout
I don't supply a store-based product: it is a service-sector over-supplied niche market.
Until Penguin 1, the only pages in that sector returning good positions were well-optimised with good content (and that scenario persists on all other main search engines).
All the well-optimised good content has now gone (no page 1 result from 18 months ago is in the current top 10 pages), and the current top 10 - none above PR3 - really do make you wonder what they are doing there.
I appreciate that Google cannot be looking with human eyes at every search term in every sector, and if any Google employee looked at the main terms I track they would struggle to avoid embarrassment.
The problem is that really embarrasing results are not confined to niche service queries. I have said before that Google is the way people find things. I was one of those people. I now intermittently try Google for personal searches I have already conducted using Bing, and they only perform better than Bing for complex (long) search terms and music/videos: I can't find things on Google now.
The thing is, having an idea of how a search engine works and knowing how to search are part of the same process. When you make its operation completely incomprehensible, you make it useless.
I am now following (and posting in) these threads more out of curiosity than from any sense that there might be a solution. I really do think Google organic listings are kaput, both for webmasters and for users.