digitalv - 7:45 pm on Mar 8, 2011 (gmt 0)
I'm not trying to hide anything, the sites in the network I'm referring to were banned over a year ago for selling text links. I haven't tried to get them "unbanned" because I'm still selling links from them and don't plan on stopping any time soon. I have plenty of other sites that are managed through the same Google Webmaster account that haven't been banned, because they don't sell links or violate any policies. So the evidence suggests that Google doesn't ban based on who owns the site, but rather what the individual site is doing. I'm OK with that. :)
I don't really want to test it on anyone, even to a competitor... if someone has a site they're willing to donate I'll be happy to test on you, but I'm not going to kill someone's search position (if that is what's happening) just to see if I can. It was just weird to see such a significant drop.
I wonder how many of us have been the victim of someone who figured this out before? Why would Google make it work this way, knowing you can't control who links to you?