joost - 10:30 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)
@Ralph_Slate -- Your description of what happened to your site sounds exactly like Penguin. It's exactly what happened to my two Penguibized sites. Some pages didn't drop, some dropped slightly, and some fell into oblivion. I think the hard-hit pages on these sites were penalized because they had artificial backlinks with anchor text containing their keywords. But I also think that all the pages were weakened somewhat, even those that held onto a #1 position in the rankings, because Penguin apparently devalues many of a site's backlinks, so that the total "pagerank juice" coming into the site is reduced.
This is exactly what happened to one of my sites October 6th: only the pages I built links to sunk. The index page, which I built most links to, even sunk to bottom of results. Other pages still rank in top of results. Site was online for just one month, after index page only had been online for about a year.
So I understand recuperating rankings for the pages that were hit is difficult if not impossible? How about new pages I now add to the site, will they rank, provided I can get enough "pagerank juice" for the site? Or even more specific: can a new page that I optimize for the same keywords a hit page was optimized for, rank and thus replace the hit page?
Or is it best to abandon the domain and start again?