Sorry for the long post, I may be the king of conspiracy theories, but at least this is a good one.
I was #1 for one of the most popular results on the internet in the UK, and just about evry derivation of it for around three years. I am the niche in this field, well that was until now. I am an affiliate, with gross turnover (for the affiliate company)last year of more than £30,000,000. The relationship with the very well known affiliate company has been somewhat tender for around 12 months, likely due to the growth in sales. Four weeks ago I was dropped for every keyword in Google, appears to be a massive penality. Overnight searches went from 20,000 daily to 700 Bing visitors.
So here is the conspiracy,
After a very fragile time with the owners of the program, and some (what I will call) new rules we moved forward. Almost instantly I began seeing them in my logs spidering and manually searching the site. I had contemplated banning them from the site but decided against it. The spidering stopped and the next day I was dropped in Google. I was sick and did not know what to do. I started to become suspicious because of the new rules and the spidering. I had a good look at the site and there was nothing diferent I had done, apart from the new rules.
Well imagine my surprise when the following week I see them in the position I once held, and from way down the results. I submitted a reinclusion request, but while I was in WMT I noted that there was a 95,000 links that were not there before (normally 4,000 and still 4,000 in yahoo). WMT Does not show all the links whach is puzzlinng.
After that to my astonishment, the affiliate company announced to the world they were going to specialise only in my product, which has created a lot of news - tv, internet and news papers.
Was my site moved to the side to allow this with the help of Google?
If this was moved to facilitate this, can I ever get back
Is there any advice where I can go from this point?
What does it mean by so many links in WMT, is this a genuine 95,000 links, or part of a penality?