I mentor several budding entrepreneurs who set up websites with the hope of gaining "organic" traffic from search engines. Some believe in the "set it up and they will come" paradigm, while others perform the superstitious dark art of search engine optimization (SEO).
And when it comes to the SEO types, Google is their biggest friend and foe. Friend because it is the primary driver of traffic to their site, foe because they cannot make sense of the evolving algorithm that is Google.
The slew of significant algorithm updates beginning in February 2011 have been dubbed "Panda" updates. And they have many Webmasters crying themselves hoarse. If you were to hear some of them, if would seem like Google was reducing the amount of traffic on the Internet.
But that is a very egomaniacal perspective. Any change to the Google algorithm does not reduce the number of people searching on the web. It is just your website that has fallen out of favor. That means another website has substituted it on the search engine results page (SERP).
Sounds obvious, but it needs to be said.