Lol. Google didn't penalize me -they penalized them. And that doesn't make them more ethical. It makes them stupid. Because 5 years ago they bought into every $15 crappy directory and were either happy to take the risk with google (and cash the checks they got back then, from their rankings) or they were just to stupid to appraise themselves of the risk.
In fact, I'm still trying to get the part where website owners who bought into every $15 crappy directory farm links back in the day became the moral high ground. What a joke. These people built garbage websites with garbage link building - and I've got $5 that says probably garbage content and now they're complaining. Complain to google.
You built a lousy site.
No, the site's fine. Some of the people listed have some shady link building practices though.
Frankly, if you got penalized and you're business isn't worth a simple $12K fix to a problem you created of your own accord, then all you're doing is whining.