Something major was released about 3 days ago here too...traffic has dropped like a rock. My site used to "wake up" around 4am with plenty of visitors, today it's been at 0 visitors for hours (now 10am). I run a dedicated server but now I'm wondering why? I could handle this traffic with a free hosting account. Google continues to cherry pick keywords for their own interests. No government agency will ever find them at fault of having a conflict of interest though since they ARE the government.
This is typically our busiest season, but it's already lower than our lowest period in July. Trickle down economics will soon choke off one of their best income sources....us.
I'm finding the location issue particularly frustrating. Currently in google.co.uk, either I tell Google my location, or...
"If you'd rather not set an explicit location, Google will attempt to automatically detect your location based on your IP address and other factors"
...Google decides for me that the most relevant results - everything above the fold in the organic results - are from Google Places in Bradford UK.
I don't get any Google Places if I use google.com. Instead I get what might be their current non location-specific UK results interspersed at random intervals with roughly 20% from Australia. All the widgets in the world are now in those two places, apparently.