ZydoSEO - 7:38 pm on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)
Personally, I would not have touched anything on that site until I had glaring evidence that they were under some penalty or filter. From the way you describe things in statements like:
Site was pretty much optimized to a point where it had become a honeypot to penalties.
since they had the site for 2 years and a lot of crappy links i had a feelings that they have several penalties in place, but they refused to believe it.
site was online for 2 years and had tons of backlinks and still not ranking anywhere and for that reason i implemented changes
it sounds to me like you have based ALL of the changes on your "gut" instead of basing them on facts. Sounds to me like you were just stabbing in the dark hoping to stumble onto something that might magically make them rank better.
Did you nail down the exact dates when the site incurred those "supposed" penalties and/or filters? Did you correlate them with specific updates from Google (Mayday? Panda? Penguin? EMD? Above the Fold? etc)? Did you determine if traffic dropped on a particular date for a particular keyword phrase (or small set of keyword phrases) or did they lose traffic on that specific date across almost all keywords that previously drove traffic to the site? Did you determine if traffic dropped on a particular date for a particular URL (or small set of URLs) or did they lose traffic on that specific date sitewide across pretty much all URLs?
If you didn't ask and answer all of these types of questions before recommending and executing a solution, then it's no wonder their rankings have gone from bad to worse. It's one thing to make uninformed changes to your own site based on "gut feelings". But making any changes to a client's site because of anything other than well researched facts is probably the worst thing you can do... for the client AND your reputation.
I really don't see anything wrong with the URL:
so I don't know why you would even have touched it. It's not a spammy URL assuming the content is about cheap blue widgets. I'm not even sure it's possible to have a spammy URL with just 3 keywords unless you repeat the same word multiple times like widget-widget-widget.html. LOL