Originally Posted by WebEminence
If all your sites lost ranking after the update, it's a pretty clear indication that some method you were using was frowned upon by google. What methods were you using that you think caused the drop in rankings? Was it the anchor text over-optimization that you mentioned?
I had sites that were promoted in alot of different ways. Some were natural, some were not so natural.
I used mainly guest posting on 1 site that got hit really hard. But, I was a part of a guest posting exchange site, that i dont think google liked. But the site has really great content and i invested the largest amount of time and money into it.
I also have a 6 year old forum with 8000 posts that had its traffic cut in half.
I did some link building to blog posts targeting certain key terms. The pages initially ranked well, but disappeared after penguin.
One site that had very little traffic reduction was a site that i did guest posting, but contacted site owners manually. It wasn't part of an exchange network. It also has really good social signals like tweets and facebook likes.
My advice would be to just try and make connections with site owners in your niche manually. Try to get links from customers or related sites you do business. Stay out of link networks that G could identify easily.
Also set up plugins like "Tweet-Like" if your using wordpress, so visitors can tweet it or like it on Twitter and FB.