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As far as long term goes I have been very pleased. But, it really depends on what you mean by long term, and the competition - as stated by rcjordan
So what we are really talking about here is the SEO influence over the rest.
Some SEO tactics are to spam the index....that is not necessarily something you should criticize, however shell shocked you maybe at this point in time.
Some SEO tactics are to build PR by artificial means, again some may say that this is inherently evil, but they did it because Google made them do it!
Today's SERP's are very different from last months. This in itself raises a very good question.....If Google produced the most relevant results last month then how can that be true today? Alternatively if you believe today's results are great then Google results must have been poor in the past!
Whether you believe any of the above, or just think it is a bunch of crap, ask yourself this question....Google is popular today because of word of mouth...that is the best form of popularity, but also one of the most volatile. If it loses popularity because it is seen as irrelevant then whatever results are displayed is totally immaterial. Google can die as fast as it was born.
To answer your question littlecloud, I don't think Google results today have any long term impact on the World. In fact I don't think Google results at anytime in the future will really matter.
If there was one industry that was likely to be more volatile than SEO then it would be owning a SE!
In the meantime.....thanks Google, we had record traffic today!
Anything else is subject to change, which can happen unexpectedly, any time.