Planet13 - 3:11 pm on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)
Hi there, teokolo:
Thanks for the clarification. I think I understand your situation pretty well.
No one except a google employee can tell you exactly WHAT to do. But can I try to ask some questions and maybe give some suggestions?
When was the last time you filed a reconsideration request? What was the response?
If they DIDN'T say the manual penalty has been revoked, maybe you should try filing another reconsideration request?
Does your subdomain2 blog also have GOOD links as well as spam links pointing at it? Is that why you don't want to move it?
Why do you have a blog on subdomain 1 and subdomain 2 instead of on your main domain? do you have something like keyword1.mydomain.com and keyword2.mydomain.com for the subdomain names?
There is a chance it would make more sense to move the subdomain blogs into the main domain instead of having them on subdomains. Then you might now have to 301 redirect them (unless they have some good links).
If they have good links (or certain pages have good links), then you will probably want to 301 redirect those pages. But since you used disavow to disavow EVERY link pointing at subdomain1, then I am guessing it doesn't have any good links...
Alternatively, you could move the blogs on to NEW subdomains (subdomain3 and subdomain4 instead of subdomain1 and subdomain2)
But the question to ask really is; what is best for the visitor? Would they expect to find this content on a subdomain of your main site? Would they expect to find it on a part of your MAIN site ( mydomain.com/old_subdomain2_blog/) or would they expect to find it on a different root domain altogether?
But most importantly, if I understand correctly, I would go over EVERY link pointing at your MAIN domain and your forum, because it sounds like your main domain is the one suffering from all of this. I know you checked. But I would double check and triple check. Use the latest links in GWT, plus the typical other backlink research tools.
You might have a Penguin problem in addition to your manual penalty. The manual penalty (in theory) could be cleared up quicker than the penguin penalty, which Matt Cutts and John Mueller have hinted COULD take MONTHS to clear up.
So I would really suggest from everything I have been reading that you look again at all your links - but especially the ones to your most important site - and try and REMOVE any ones that would be considered unnatural.
How do you know if it is unnatural? If it is a dofollow link that was made by you, it is unnatural.
Hope this helps. But at the end of the day, if you DON'T have bad links pointing at the main domain and forum and they are still penalized, you might have to decide whether to keep those subdomain blogs or not.
And for Pete's sake, keep your blog software up to date and secure so this doesn't happen again in the future.