IMHO, It's realy very simple....Google has convinced most IMers that they cannot survive without PR and SERPS.
Bad news....they can.
You see, Google wants it all, just as the old Standard Oil Monopoly wanted it all. Everything Google does is in the long term of benefit to Google and no one else.
Google is essentially telling everyone that they have to act as scavengers, waiting for something to die in order to eat and that predators, that is, those who go hunting will be mercilessly wiped out by the cute little Pandas, Penguins or whatever other cutesy animal name Google gives to its next massacre.
Thousands of sites which never engaged in an sort of SEO have nosedived with ordinary Mom-and-Pop businesses devasted by the "updates".
Good SEO is the same thing as good advertising and is not necessarily "spam", which term in itself has been so overused as to nearly lack meaning or refer pretty much to anything that someone doesn't like!
I mean, if you want to get found on the Internet, you need as many link, backlinks and references of all kinds. You need a good CAN-SPAM compliant email campaign (More on that one later!).
Google doesn't want you to have these as they might take away business from.........
..........Google, of course!
By the way, just when was control of the Internet ceded to Google?
I don't remember being asked about it.
How about you?
Anyone ask you?
What do you think?