asusplay - 1:03 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)
@Whitey yes I have a manual penalty - got the unnatural links warning together with a huge drop in traffic a week later. After 2 reinclusion requests I get the "your site is violating Google quality guidelines - specifically look for links which may be unnatural or used to manipulate ranking by passing on pagerank or have been part of a link scheme..." [paraphrasing here]. 5 months on and I get a handful of Google referrals. I've stopped looking at my stats as much as possible for my own health.
Thanks @JS_Harris. I submitted the last reinclusion just after I finished with the disavow file. However as you say that didn't work, although going through over 9000 links takes some effort and took me a couple of weeks! However I am now contacting all the ones that I can (not that many spammy sites have contact details or contact forms), documenting it in the disavowal file as well as a separate spreadsheet, to present with my next re-inclusion request. Unfortunately I'm not getting much feedback of the requests I do send, and since this was all done by the SEO company I used for a year I can't help feeling it's a but of a futile exercise.
In any case there's plenty of sites which are now offline / expired etc but still show in the link profile. How long does this take to update?