Yes, a lurker finally steps forward.
First let me tell you that I've learned tons of information here and WebmasterWorld, and I'm glad I joined. However, I'm but another of the victims in the Big Daddy wake, and I've also suffered from the bad move by an employee.
I own a small outdoor furniture cushion and patio umbrella e-commerce site. I worked day and night to get some really good links to the site, and I created a pretty cool sitemap. After two weeks, the Goog deep crawled my site. 352 of my pages. And, I was getting first page results on a boatload of my products.
On April 26th, which I have found in my lurkings here at WebmasterWorld to be to bomb date, I dropped from 352 pages indexed by Google to 57. Also, I completely dropped out of site on the key words I was getting great traffic for. After reading through Matt Cutts and this forum, I figured that this would change as the new alg came up to speed. But I felt it was good to do some site clean up, so I eliminated a lot of my reciprical links, especially the INTERNET RESOURCES links that a lot of us use, and those reciprocal links that where not related to my industry. I have not decided whether it would be best to eliminate reciprocal's all together, since I know that they still have some merit, if only very, very little.
After some other clean ups, like trying to eliminate duplicate content due to a small bug in my asp.net app, I created a new site map, some content changes, and I resubmitted, and requested a reinclusion. I only learned afterwords that my site really isn't banned, only that my details pages have dropped, so a reinclusion really doesn't work. So I needed to do some more marketing and get some more IBL's.
In the meantime, one of my employees thought it would be a great idea to post some of our products at a famous classified ad's site, c-list, for those in the know. At first, we got a ton of traffic from it, and I thought that it was a pretty good promotion. What my employee didn't tell me was that he copied our detail pages verbatim into those little classified ads. My site dropped from 57 to 38 pages. I realized that what my employee did was create a ton of duplicate content, and we got penalized.
Now, two weeks later, after I deleted those adds, has Google slighty recrawled. 68 pages today. But it's obvious that I'm considered a spammer to Google.
A reinclusion wont work, and I can't really hang monetarily with Google advertising, because my competitors have enormously deep pockets, and are paying big money for their CPC ads.
What suggestions do you guys have. I tried very hard not to be spammy, but I think the Goog hates my guts right now. Worst part is, my selling season will be over in August.
Is there any steps that you suggest I take?
[edited by: tedster at 7:16 am (utc) on June 8, 2006]