I have been thinking about something over the weekend when it comes to ranking on Google-vs-traffic. I have been in this industry long enough to know that rankings on Google for the most part can determine your businesses bottom line. I have also come to the conclusion that not ranking on Google is not a "site killer".
You have to ask yourself; "Have I taken my website to all the areas of potential visitors online"? I was reading an interesting post from Aaron Wall this morning about where would your site stand if the search engines switched their focus for rankings to communities? I think its important to get your site into these kind of communities, and it can only help your rankings later on. It takes me back to what Eric Ward is always talking about with link building, and building them for traffic/visitors not rankings. Find a site that is a good fit to yours that gets quality traffic and get a link from it. It sounds simple I know, but there is way to much focus about building up massive amounts of links (only for the sole purpose) to boost your search engine rankings.
I want to take this thinking a step further. I can have a brand new site (not indexed on Google), and post an article on Ezine Articles to a specific category that I feel the readers will connect with about my site (services/products etc) and get a ton of quality traffic, and get sales from it. Now, I better have a good article with good content that will convert on my site yes, but I don't need Google exclusively to get me the traffic and sales. I just hear to many people talking all the time about how their site is going to fail if they are not on Google. They could not be more wrong! They are focusing to much on "rankings" and not on quality traffic.
The social communities are great for quality traffic because you are targeting the exact people that are looking for you. Over time the work you do with these social communities will build up quality links to your site which in turn will always improve rankings. Just like the links you get from places like Ezine Articles can only help long term, but make sure you use them for the short term success as well! My point here is to not put all your eggs in one basket and think that one search engine will make or break your success.