This is going to be short and sweet…
We are doing some consulting work for a company that got hit by one of the Google Panda / Penguin updates.
They truly believed they were doing nothing wrong.
With a little digging we found they had many links from link directory sites.
It turns out that their hosting company had been doing this “value added” service for them since 2011.
Because of the low quality links, Google significantly penalized them. Their traffic instantly dropped 60%.
Fixing this will take a great deal of time. And honestly, it may never resolve.
The company didn’t know this was going on. They didn’t ask for it. But Google is holding them responsible. Now it’s their problem.
The moral of the story: Be aware of what is happening with your site!
You can see your incoming links easily at Google’s Webmaster Tools.
It’s possible that an aggressive competitor could even do this to you using negative SEO tactics.
If you catch it early fixing the problem will be much easier.
It’s not your fault but it is your problem.
- From my phone in New York City.