superclown2 - 3:16 pm on Aug 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
Recently I have noticed a number of sites belonging to other people disappear after they have got high in the SERPs - no. 2 or above - for certain key phrases. All of them were affiliate sites.
Over the last month two affiliate sites of mine suffered the same fate; upon finally reaching position no. 2 for good keyphrases both had manual visits from Google and then they disappeared to Page 6 oblivion. Both were well established sites that had ticked along nicely for years. Appeals for reconsideration were met with the same standard letter about 'violating quality guidelines' that we are all so familiar with. Neither have changed much for a long while, there are no paid links, and both contained far more useful content than the 'brand' sites that remain.
So; I wonder how widespread this is. Are some of these new staff that Google took on checking the first couple of spots for popular keyphrases, and getting rid of affiliate sites that get too big for their boots? If this is the case doesn't their claims that the SERPs are decided algorithmically ring a little hollow?
Finally, do all we affiliates have to find a way of keeping a website down to no. 5 or 6 so it doesn't stick it's head above the parapet?