atladsenser - 7:36 pm on Jul 29, 2012 (gmt 0)
google's algo doesn't act on a whim. it's an algo. if a site gets demoted then there is a reason for it. the tough bit is working out what the reason is. if you put in the time (and maybe a little money) then you can get yourself back.
That's true. But if you get your AdSense account deactivated, as netmeg pointed out, there's almost never a second chance to get back in.
There's also the Google+ effect to deal with as well. A competitor in my site's niche has been very successful in moving up the SERPs, I've noticed, not (admittedly, in my judgement) by creating lots of unique, useful content for their site, but by playing the social media game.
This person has amassed tens of thousands of Twitter followers and thousands of Facebook fans and Google+ fans by playing the "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" game of following each other back and forth. I'm here to tell you, apparently it's working, as this site is being rewarded by Google with big moves up in its rankings, despite the fact that they don't offer much original content at all on their site. I think if you want to be successful with attracting traffic in the future, you're just going to have to play that game.
I've got a few thousand Twitter followers as well, in addition to several thousand Facebook fans and a small number of Google+ followers, but they've all been organic follows/fans -- I haven't spammed anyone's email list to get them, they've all signed up one by one b/c they've liked my site and the content I provide.
I don't think that's going to be enough in the future, though -- you're just going to have to play the game and get as many thousands of followers as you can in order to rank well in the SERPs, and especially play the Google+ game. For me, there's only so many things you can give your attention to, however -- and spending hours searching for people to follow on Twitter or Google+ just so they'll follow me back... it makes my head hurt just thinking about it!