luckystrike - 5:54 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: luckystrike at 6:44 pm (utc) on May 28, 2013]
Authority site since 2003 - one of the best in the financial niche I operate in... had lots of natural links, modestly I can say it was a good resource.
My only fault is that I got dragged a bit in the SEO race when I saw some more recent entrants outmaneuvering me in the search engines when they started accumulating big quantities of daily links [with inferior content].
I got hit in April 2012 and this was a wake-up call. I tried to remove all the paid links and artificial press releases. It didn't help as I continued to experience declines month after month. Last November or so I've used the disavow tool to disavow any article directories I had participated (whole domains) - I even cut done on the king of them all article directories (you know the one). It hasn't helped.
I haven't received any messages in webmaster tools but my traffic has disappeared. I expected a bit of a recovery with this Penguin update but if anything its worse. I can't be found for anything almost - this for a website with lots of natural links, been there since 2003, lots of original content and educational youtube videos.
I look at the companies that have taken my place and its mostly big brands and shallow crap sites.
What to do? I'm resisting changing domains as this website is almost a decade old. I'm thinking about contacting google to see if it has a manual penalty even if I haven't received any messages whatsoever?
[edited by: luckystrike at 6:44 pm (utc) on May 28, 2013]