Panthro - 6:38 pm on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)
Since we're doing this I'll chime in with frankleeceo and Sand here. I usually like to stay quiet too and unless I need to figure something out there's not always a need for me to post in this thread. The negativity can be really swaying sometimes, though.
Almost all of my clients' sites have done well over the last two years. One client even started his first venture online in a fairly competitive niche in the middle of all this Panda/Penguin mess. Traffic has been up month over month.
I'll agree that it's more crowded than it's ever been and things have fundamentally changed in the past few years, but your business can still make money with organic search - at least for now and depending on your niche. I do, however, see Adwords becoming more and more necessary.
And fwiw, every site I've had the chance to audit who's owners couldn't understand why they were "penalized" had a perfectly good explanation and fix. The owners couldn't figure it out because they didn't know as much as they thought they did - a common theme in this industry.
Some sites, I'll agree, really won't have a fix because the business itself is the problem. Like I said, things have fundamentally changed and some businesses just won't be able to make it in this new environment. In that case, there may not be any "fix", but at least there's an answer.