OK, I have waited 3 months and cannot figure out this filter or penalty.
I recently took over a site that was a terrible static PHP site. Slapped wordpress on it, re-constructed the whole site into an organized CMS with content written by the owner himself. All old nuked pages have been 301'd to corresponding pages. The site now has good original content, is being updated once a week with a relative posts to the industry, is getting some good natural links and the TITLES and DESCR have been correctly optimized.
Our main targeted keywords are ranking on the first and second page in Google Mexico (google.com.mx), Google UK and even in Google.com when switching to "English" from Mexico.
Now if I switch to a proxy in the US or CANADA and do the search, our main keywords ("Blue Widgets") are all after page 10 position 101, sometimes 99. They never move and always stay at this position.
*Searching in Google.com.mx - "Blue Widgets" position 4
*Searching in Google.com in Mexico - "Blue Widgets" position 8
*Searching Google.co.uk in a UK proxy - "Blue Widgets" position 9
****Searching Google in a US proxy - "Blue Widgets" position 101
****Searching Google in a CANADIAN proxy - "Blue Widgets" position 99
Now here is some input. Before I took the site over, it was using google adwords to get traffic and it already had footer links on 6 sites that also belong to the owner but different industries. I have not removed them yet. They all have the same anchor text. This will be the first thing I remove but I wanted to get everyone's ideas first?
Site does not seem to have a penalty becasue it ranks for both "mydomain" and mydomain.com.