Recent changes to the way Google does things can be a hindrance or a help, depending on your willingness to take advantage of these changes!
Google has increased the snippet length for queries that contain three or more keywords, as multi-word queries are more targeted and complex. If you are in control of your snippets then this can be a good thing, allowing you to provide a more compelling reason to visit your site.
However, this again decreases the attention the meta tag gets, so if you depend on that you need to re-evaluate your approach. Some have suggested that fewer users may click through to a website because they get the answer to their question in the search results, and that the addition space the snippets use may force lower results down below the fold – this is only a problem if you depend on high numbers of clicks.
If you concentrate on conversion over click-throughs like you should, this is actually a positive move. If users are becoming more selective with multi- keywords searches, the advantages of optimizing for the long tail are hugely increased!
Google is also showing more related searches at the bottom of each page. This also can be a benefit to you if you look at it the right way – You can research this and find more keywords to optimize for, and this can also eliminate confused searchers from hitting your site and bouncing.
IP addresses are also playing a part in local results shown on Google – some think this is a violation of privacy, but they can turn off this feature if they choose. You can take advantage by optimizing for local search! Submit your site to Google Maps and rake in some local traffic.