What I would do is:
Open a new domain put 6 or 10 pages of new content get one or two good links to it. Maybe one from your current home page or maybe buy one or two links if necessary. Let it sit and take a hard look at your site, mine was probably hit by too much internal linking, or www.domain.com verses domain.com issues it looks like it may be comming back. But I at least have a backup domain name with some history and PR.
Don't buy a new domain buy a domain from someone who registered it a few years ago and hasn't done anything spammy with it.
I now have my doubts about that technique as all my old but recently changed domains just got whacked out of sight.
Ok, I will revise my statement, hmpphf is atleast part right. If the domain is priced right, is named well for your space and has been around for a year or more, check alexs for a rough indicator.
Our website was in the top 3 for its keyword. After doing mass linking with relevant partners, we went from a PR7 to a PR0 and can no longer be found on google even if you type in the name domain without the.com
however, it is still cached in google. does this mean we have been banned or have been penalized (obviously)
Our website gets major traffic, and sales are still very high - however no sign in google. Should we mirror the site on another domain and begin seo from scratch?
Do site:www.yourdomain.com in Google.
The cache isn't relevant.
When my site disappeared in the serps a month ago, I quickly put up another site (using OScommerce) with a link from the lost site and a couple of instant links in a relevant directory - I then used Froogle to get products displayed instantly. I don't know if listing the site on Froogle helped but the site was fully indexed in Google within a week.
The site is 'sandboxed', natch, but is in the top Serps for specific kw's and has saved us from total banruptcy!
I was careful when I put the new site up, to avoid mistakes I had made with the first site, and also to avoid copying and pasting so I would not end up with another dupe penalty. I also used a different shopping cart so the structure of the site is different.
Seems to be working so far, and was certainly better than sitting around feeling miserable!
Whoops...forgot to say, I used a different domain name.
It was hard to decide to start again, but with our peak season coming, I really didn't think I could wait to see what happened.
Thanks for your thoughts, folks. I decided to buy a new domain and move the forums over since most of that traffic comes from people with the site bookmarked anyway. If it looks like it gets some Google loving after a while, I think I'll move the articles over then.
If you still have a PR4, you are not penalized. You are still in the Google index. If you move your site over to a new domain without fixing whatever problem you are dealing with, you're wasting your time and money. You'd be better off spending the time to figure out what is causing your site to be ranked poorly and fix it. Otherwise you're just moving the problem to a new location.