So hold the boat! All I have to do is buy a bunch of cheap spam links and point them at my compititor and they will get the ban hammer!
I suspect this happened to me at the start of the year, my links went from 4,000 to more than 100,000 in a short period. A penality followed and a competitor moved into my place, announcing they were now specialising in my product, although they have since moved down the results a little.
Nothing I could do about it, apart from spending a lot of money with no guarantee of results. I am still sitting with a penality 10 months on.
I was already in the coveted #1 position, so why would I have needed to grow my links from a steady 3 to 4 years with 4,000 links to more than 100,000, Google should be able to see this.
I feel sory for you Jessica, but feel you may be wasting your time, but it would be great to hear if you get any success.