Our site is still banned. We have 10% of an industry using us. 22,000 inbound links according to Google. We have never ask for inbound links or participated in farms.
We were a 7, now zero going on 3 months. Our traffic is down about 18%, but strangely, our sales are still upticking.
Come to think of it, the only time sales really picked up in regards to Google, was way back when Yahoo picked up Google as their search provider.
Many scraper sites and junk sites we have no control over, linked to us, 90% of which were SELLING GOOGLE ads!
Google also raised the minimum bid of our domain (with and with out .com) as a keyword from 5 to 50 cents exactly 1 day after our ban. They have at least 2 major companies in our industry buying the keyword and our tradename. The word has NO meaning other than what we have created for it over the past 6 years.
The googlebot spends a lot of time in our site.
We cut our Google advertising in half and spent it with Yahoo and others, to be sure their metrics show a "loss" for their random action on us. We STRONGLY advise everyone to do likewise if they have been .
The claims of Google their "secret formula" being democratic and based on "votes" (links in) is totally bogus.
We are nearly certain, the engine now includes extremely agressive analytics to suck more of your dollars to Google. Our belief is they have incorporated weighting of "free" traffic to "paid" traffic and where advantageous, are cutting quality content in order to produce higher revenues from the same clients through paid listings.
NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. UNLESS YOU LIE ABOUT IT by making claims "democracy" is making those choices without "human intervention."
Its our belief, our site was manually manipluated and TURNED OFF in listings. REASONING, we got our site turned back on by a real person for about 5 days. 0 to 7 in 30 minutes. (Don't ask how) Then it was shut down again.
Hopefully MSN and AOL will formulate their own search or purchase a quality 2nd tier company.
Everytime a single company dominates a market, they shift from "democratic" to "gestopo" tactics very quickly, since they can make their own rules.
Its critical to your pocket book to have multiple healthy providers.
Hope these observations make you go "hmmmm" and encourage you to spread out your ad dollars and listing efforts.