I own www.acustomwindowtreatment.com and www.affordablewindowshades.com. I don't understand all of the technical stuff going on at Google but I too have dropped dramatically in position. I didn't redesign my site. And I follow all of the rules. Interestingly enough soon after my position dropped I received a call from Google asking me if I wanted to participate in their Adwords program.
Despite Google's assertion to the contrary I can't help but think the two are connected. I see my competitors who are part of the adwords program didn't drop at all.
I've lost 80% of my business and I'd rather go out of business than to be duped into spending money on adwords. Besides when my sales dropped to such a large degree so did my advertising budget.
It seems to me that Google has too much control over my future. I am positioned well on the other search engines, I am in most of the major home improvement directories I can think of. I have a good deal of quality links pointing to my site. I believe for a novice that my site is designed well. I believe I provide more content than my competitors. It's not a great site I'll admit - but it's the best I can do but most importantly like I mentioned earlier - I play by the rules.
Here's my question - what have or are people doing to increase sales via alternative methods of marketing so they are no longer so tightly tied to google? This has happened to me twice now and with devastating results each time.
I don't believe in pay-per-click as a rule. I also know that the majority of shoppers don't click on the sponsored links. Which puzzles me as to how google can make so much money - someone has to be clicking on the links unless it is all a scam.
I am open to any ideas anyone may have to end the google dependency.