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Assuming that by "same template" here you're referring to my question about whether they've designed WordPress themes, this sets off some alarm bells.
Conceivably, there's enough similarity to sponsored themes that this site been similarly penalized. What's not completely clear is why the indexing withdrawal was gradual, why it appears that no notice was sent, etc. The timing isn't exactly what I'd expect from a Penguinized site, but, as noted, it does correspond to the giveaway ads.
it's possible there's something he missed - I know I certainly have had a few 'head slap moments' over the years - but assuming nothing was missed in this case
Conceivably, there's enough similarity to sponsored themes that this site been similarly penalized.
Giving away free templates with a link to your site in the footer of each, and advertising the giveaway on adwords, yup that'll do it too. Lol.
I'm presuming if it was a manual penalty Google wouldn't de-index for the poor use of words.
I can't go into too much detail, but I've seen sites I know aren't 'messing up' be either not indexed or removed after a brief period of indexing and the only thing I (and others who have been doing this a while) can come up with is there's just not enough 'uniqueness' or 'difference' there for Google to warrant putting them in the index and a low number of inbound links does nothing to say, "Hey Google, people like this, it should be included...'