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Did you get back to page one for any keyword, even the long tail ones?
Lesson here be don't go around getting crappy links. Especially ones that can't be undone. Also, it's a pretty good reminder that you probably CAN hurt your competitors with crappy links.
When they say competitors can't harm you, it's really B-S.
No more than 5 links for a completely new domain. If you get more you are running into their paranoia algo and will see a -50.
Again, no more than 5 links in the first months. Even if the domain is old the only factor that counts is the age of content in their index. This means go for high pr links in the first months.
I have tested this over and over with new completely new domains and with an old one.
Panda helped me uncover a new info-getting trick, I think, and since I'm sure it's fairly useless and/or will be patched soon I'll share.
- In Google webmaster tools click on manage site and then proceed to unverify yourself, from every site.
I was penalized on one site(-50, aff links sitewide in sidebar I think) and try as I might Google would not allow me to remove that site from my GWT, while the others disappeared that one switched to "verify this site" and is not removable.
I'm guessing that since the site has a "record" about it Google won't allow me to delete it completely, even though it's shut down(new-ish site, not worth fighting a penalty on).
I re-verified the others without problem but the record for the penalized site seems permanent. Permanent AND attached to me as a webmaster, ick!
edit: Don't click delete! doing that just removes the site from your dashboard but it's records remain, you have to unverify and it will vanish on it's own, if not penalized.
Im wondering if anyone knows, if a perm redirect is done from the penalized site to a fresh new domain, (where all the content from penalized site is copied to fresh domain as well) would the penalty follow? I imagine it would, and it might be better just to copy and start fresh, but I wonder if anyone has tried it?
On the other hand if the -50 is an algo based automatic penalty and not manual, maybe the penalty won't follow, and PR could at least be retained from the penalized domain with the 301?
I had not built any links to these sites as they sat in penalty for 2 years
Did your main page dissapear completely for any key terms? Not -50 on main page , but completely gone for search but still there for name.com .
I think you and me had the same penalty . Did you touch anything prior to coming back in the serps ? Like anything ? And did you notice a huge amount of pages not found in your GWT. And did you notice the links shown in GWT dropping by a large amount ?