wheel - 9:20 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)
I own over 100 websites and I can guarantee you two things:
Do you guarantee that like you just guaranteed that I only have one websites?
I've got more websites than you, in probably more niches. I do that because if Google jumps into my niche I need to be able to move. I was ready for this years ago.
All my income is online. 1/2 of it comes from non-google sources. Do you have that diversity?
The fact that you set up a site that wasn't over the top, and got algo'ed out as a result does not mean that others don't have the forethought to put preventative measures in place and to have contingency plans in place should it happen. I've got results going back further than many people have been doing SEO to back that claim up.
What you are probably missing is that if Matt Cutts looked at your site, he's going to say 'whatever, that's no better or worse than 1000 other sites, I don't care if it's on the front page or not'. My main site, Matt Cutts wouldn't say that. And THAT'S what the algo is implementing - not pagerank or backlinks or expert content. Google makes more money if they serve better results. My primary website qualifies as 'better results', in every measure. Content. Layout. Backlinks. Authority. Bounce rate. Whatever.
Frankly, if we're passing judgement, and you've got 100 'core' websites, then you deserved to be panda'd. Because there's no way any of those sites are decent quality. You probably resorted to automating backlinks and content in some fashion. I have never resorted to either other than for testing purposes.
Generally, if you got hit by panda, it's not Google's fault, and it's not my fault. It's your fault.