Do you want to read a REAL horror story? Then check out this article from Forbes about Google Hell.
A client of mine went through this recently. Everything was fine and then one day Google didn’t list their site. It wasn’t as though they dropped in the listings. Suddenly they were nowhere to be found on two thirds of their keyword phrases.
What did we do? We waited out the storm. In a couple of weeks almost everything was back to normal. Within a month things were fine on all keyword phrases.
I think what happened to my client is that Google changed their algorithm. Sometimes it takes a little while for search results to get straightened out after a programming change. However the reality is that I’ll never know exactly what happened.
Google doesn’t reveal much about their system. It makes sense. They don’t want other search engines to copy their technology. They don’t want websites to abuse the system. So they don’t say exactly how the system works. The other side of the coin is that they don’t tell you what you did wrong when you drop into Google Hell.