Ok guys, here is that post I promised. Basically, in the last couple of years, the ebay affiliate program went to crap. They updated their rss feed to basically eliminate any BANS sites, and the guys that created BANS stopped updating the script years ago. It was very sad to go from making $1k+ a month down to less then $50. But if I learned anything from that experience is that the internet marketing game is always changing.
And speaking of change, Google itself has gone through a few algorithm updates themselves, one being called panda and the newest one being called penguin. A lot of sites got hit pretty hard, including me, with this update. And it seems it wasnt just the blackhat people that took a hit. There were quite a few legitimate sites that used only whitehat tactics that took a hit.
Another thing it seems this most recent update with google did was open up negative seo techniques. There have been quite a few businesses open up and people starting fiverr gigs that offer these negative seo techniques. Basically, you pay these guys to blast your competitors with spammy links, and this will cause their site to tank. There have been a few case studies done that proves this works. Its kind of a scary time to be in SEO right now.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of folks that have no problem using these negative seo techniques to hurt your site. What are webmasters to do then? Well, I havent tested it myself yet, but from what I have read it seems the only defense you have against these tactics is by building or getting high authority links to counter act these negative links. Fortunately, it doesnt look like I have been a victim yet, but then again Im not in the super competitive, cut-throat niches like insurance or mortgages.
Hopefully google will get this all sorted out and just not count these spammy links for positive or negative. I cant imagine it would be that hard for them to sort through links that look spammy and ones that dont.