"Build for your visitors not for Google"
That's ALMOST exactly what I always say, except my saying ends in
"... and you'll never be found by either." lol
This thread caught my eye as I'd been going through the same thing. After 17 years of doing this (I was burnt out from a real programming job when I learned html one weekend and started doing the internet) barely keeping up with G and slipping further behind multiple competitors with hundreds of employees vs ONE of me (these days - can't afford to pay employees like in the old days), I've been wondering if it isn't time to take what I put away that GAdsense generously earned us in the 05-08's and get out of the exponentially ever more crowded online space and maybe open a subway shop or a bar, 'cept I hate dealing with people... Maybe a doughnut vending machine route.
I agree with the person who said about working on new and technical stuff first thing in the day when you're fresh. Once I get to answering e-mail and studying depressing logs and reports, all I want to do is procrastinate.
I did find, a while back, when I was getting particularly perplexed and frustrated with G and realized I hadn't taken a break from the computer in months, that just playing hookey from the office for a day or two really made a difference in morale. Just say 'screw it today' and go out and do something fun or practical that you've been meaning to get to (mow the lawn, get the car registration renewed, skydive, visit a brothel - YPMV [Your Priorities May Vary].) Before you know it you'll be having all kinds of new webpage ideas and theories of how to beat G and won't be able to WAIT to get back to putting them on the net.