crobb305 - 1:50 am on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)
I have a competitor in one of my niches, he ranks like #5, and as high up as #2 for a very competitive term. He is linked on about 200 different websites...all with the exact same anchor text! He was penalized for 3 months
When you say "penalized", did you see his site in the -40 to -60 range, or was it gone completely?
I have been told that some of those filters are lifted algorithmically in some cases (for a variety of reasons). I know when you're filtered, it's tempting to shoot over a reconsideration request, but it might be best to wait a few months to see if you recover naturally.
I have a site that is -40 to -60 (it fluctuates depending on Datacenter) since January 11. I am waiting it out (as long as possible).