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[edited by: tedster at 2:08 pm (utc) on Feb 1, 2013]
This is my "Too Good" theory.
IN THE UK - really really surprising results
pages that are "too good". In other words, their information is "too relevant" and their quality is "too high". Therefore, says Google, there must be something wrong with them.
I feel this has probably been around for much longer than we may believe.
I have a strange feeling that something has changed/tweaked in the algo as of 2/19/2013
We're due for a monthly Panda refresh at anytime now. It could be that that's underway
For what it's worth, I've seen a spike in crawl rate the last few days too.
Overall traffic is up, of course traffic with throtteling.
My own site dropping 70+ pages is clearly some sort of penalty, but nothing is obvious or flagged in WMT (or applies in any other search engine).
I think there is no such thing as "recovery" from this. Google SERPS as a marketing tool is history.