First off all, this thread is not intended as a "OMG! I lost my rankings" thread and make everyone feel sorry for me. I am just trying to figure out and understand why it has happened.
I have a few directories where companies in the niche of the directory can sign up and put their contact details. All is nicely ordered by city. Some websites have 100's of listings, others have collected 5000+ listings by now. The sites are all relatively new, about 1 year old. I have been actively gathering links for two of these sites, the ones that have the most competative keywords.
One of the sites I have been gathering links for is a directory of widgets. It used to rank ok for terms like "widget + city" but nothing special. Then on the 3rd of January it ranked really well for these terms, and since today it's even worse then before... This website is not even ranking for it's own name anymore, which is "widgets neverland".
Any idea? It has many well anchored incoming links from non-spammy sites... But it almost looks like the more links you have the worse your website is doing. Sites that have my domain name in their text are ranking well above me...