SEO as it once was is already dead. Google has effectively neutered almost every technique that was once encouraged by their ranking algorithms. Now they are going after guest blogging and other forms of SEO that they openly promoted as a valid SEO method for years.
In the aftermath of Panda and Penguin, there is so much collateral damage to rankings that almost every web site--even if the site strictly followed the rules--has seen a dramatic drop-off in Google traffic.
Most of the traffic is now going to very large branded sites. Google started in 1998 with a promise that they were going to level the playing field and give small sites an equal opportuinity with large sites. That have reneged on that promise and destroyed billions of dollars of value on the web.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin