Perhaps we are victims of the war between matt #*$! and Russian link building networks.
This is pretty much what I'm suspecting in the paranoid-back-of-my-mind, an attack on Google's serps from a third party. I doubt Google is so diabolical that they'd purposely do this to so many sites or even to one. I may be wrong though, as nothing would surprise me in any company's business decisions, especially when their own stock is dropping. I think they are smarter than that...I hope. Doing otherwise would be a betrayal of public trust.
Hacking or some sophisticated traffic diversion beyond my comprehension could certainly be causing these odd problems, but the lack of reports from other long time members of this forum makes me think either they are very tight lipped and just lurking or simply unaffected. It may be that the affected group run servers on a particularly vulnerable host or have some back door or outdated scripts present prone to intrusion. I myself have been deleting any unused domains, deleting any suspect scripts and turning up the security level of csf / lfd all within reason. Of course we donít want overly aggressive security setting to keep our honest customers out.
The high chatter lately of DDOS attacks and even my own email has been flooded with "the Russian Mafia has you..." threats coming from my own (spoofed) email address. Maybe they track us from this very forum, or maybe because you or I hold a tight position in the serps for our terms and may have for years, making us a target.
The sad part is that anyone who is brilliant enough to commit such an act would be a tragic waste of talent and for what end? The excitement and glory of watching a fellow human's livelihood die a slow & painful death? The loss of their home, income and everything they worked for? The truth is that some sociopaths in our world thrive on the thrill of power and it motivates them to become evil.
At the moment, I personally have it narrowed down to the following possibilities, choose your favorite.
1. Google is manipulating traffic for financial gain. It's their sandbox.
2. Google is simply making poor quality judgments or judgments to assist #1.
3. Google is broken and unaware of the issue or working hard on the problem.
4. The problem is NOT related at all to Google, Bing or other SEís but rather an overall network issue.
5. The problem is related to hacked sites, poor security and hosting or traffic diversion techniques.
6. Our sites just suck. See #2
7. We are in tough economic times, pre tax season and (for us) approaching a seasonal lull.
8. Thereís only room for one at the top, and well funded people are now fighting for that position.
9. We are all just uneducated bumpkins and donít belong in this business.
10. Mobile devices Ė donít fit certain business models or site designs.
Take your pick of one or a combination.
Hey, at least Iím offering possibilities rather than just reporting my sad story.
Hereís hoping for better days. Take care all.
[edited by: backdraft7 at 3:12 am (utc) on Apr 8, 2013]