Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 188.8.131.52
Sadly too late for you but they do, or at least give you a manual review. People also need to stop listing all their sites on WM Central because all your sites will be inspected.
I had NEVER thought that incoming links can hurt you this much but it looks like they can hurt you a lot! It is my fault and I admit it.
For the first time in 7 years, Today I'm thinking about leaving the online biz........
hit with a -50 penalty
Still I feel that It is very odd to penalize me for incoming links because anybody can hurt your site. Since google never tells the problem clearly It is very difficult ot make a guess.
3. No followed affiliate links?
2. Considered as thin affiliate site.
1. Links coming from blog spam.
Google flags the site but doesn't penalize it before collecting some very CLEAR patterns which indicate that It is not a competitor's attack.
I've been thinking of selling my best domain name and do what a user here does, many 200 word 'sites.' If one or a few stop ranking, it was money I never had. No need to get emotional over it.
There's no algo that could possibly tell who is running a link building campaign or who paid for it. Simply too many variables and variations.
Do not let your certitude that it's a linking penalty keep you from checking every corner of your site for possible alternative or additional issues.