Hi there, long time lurker here.
As of June 21st, at around 1:00 pm PST, I watched in horror as Big G turned off the faucet.
Our site (and offline print publication) is a highly regarded, niche specific resource in our local area. We have thousands of pages of unique content from over the years, some of it is evergreen, some is constantly updated to reflect local changes. Our website has been around for over 5 years. Our brand name is instantly recognizable in our region, and we have hundreds if not thousands of organic, one way links from other local authority sources and media outlets, visitors bureaus, personal sites, and even our only local competitor.
I'm not worried about losing positioning to the other guys, we've been consistently one upping each other for years. My real concern is that our avid user base who can't remember our slightly awkward domain will no longer find us, since it was always so easy for them to simply query our name, come to our site, and get their info.
The results that do show are numerous articles about us, our profile on a local blog feeder site, our old subdomain dev site that has been a 404ing for over a year, even my partner's myspace profile.
I haven't made any drastic changes other than changing up the design a bit. My SEO on the site is pretty much limited to keeping simple title (publication name + topic), se friendly URLs, a heading tag or two, and our incredibly juicy content. I'm not doing any 302 redirects or have any other redirecting weirdness going on. non-ww 301 to www. We aren't banned, most of our pages are not showing as supplemental, it's like I've been sandboxed or something.
The only things I've played loose with and possible reasons I can think of for being totally thrown into the deep SERP abyss are:
(1)running affiliate feeds in sub directories for products/services related to our niche (sudden influx of dupe content?)
(2)running co-op ads mainly so I could consolidate the weight and push it to other sites.
(3)footer crosslinking to other other regional specific websites that either myself or friends own.
I know it's easy to take webmasters who toot their own horns about their website's greatness (particularly those of use with low post count) with a grain of salt.
I've rolled with most of the punches over the years, we have been pretty stable through all of the updates, every once in awhile hit a little turbulence but it's generally shaken off. This isn't even a site that generates me significant income, but it has been my baby since I began work on it.
Has anyone out there had any similar situation, and did it work itself out? Any suggestions, advice, conspiracy theories? I found numerous sandbox threads, but none that seemed to address this type of scenario.