Wilburforce - 6:35 pm on Jul 29, 2013 (gmt 0)
The decline continues here, too. WMT referrals are down 90% from 2011 levels.
The pages that have dropped furthest in SERPS are those with the greatest number of backlinks (on one of which all the backlinks are organic), so either:
1. Google now incorrectly sees organic backlinks as "unnatural" (so the algo is certainly flawed), or
2. The links have been heavily devalued (on the 100% organic page a lot are from - very reputable - forums, so that is a possibility).
Overall, my site seems to have lost authority, although some of the unsolicited backlinks on reference pages come from household names in my sector, and none of my pages have lost any PR (according to the current Opera PR tool) since they were all downgraded in the PR shake-up a few years ago.
The odd thing is that what seems to pass now has no apparent authority at all (the current #2 for a term I dropped 40+ pages on is factually incorrect on some aspects of the topic), so it really is impossible now to get a good idea of how to optimise for Google. The only thing that stands out is that what MC and the guidelines say is complete hogwash.
My main suspicion, FWIW, is that Google is concentrating on improving organic performance in verbose inaccurate searches, while if you want to be confident Widgets will find you, you will have to pay for it.