Well, I have some good news. About 5 weeks ago, my site went into exile on Google and yesterday, it reappeared just as mysteriously as it disappeared for all my keywords. When it did disappear, I had canonicalization done, supplemental pages removed and set up my Google webmaster tools. I also manually cleaned up the keyword spamming in the meta and alt tags. All in all, the changes I feel were productive for my site.
I tried not to panic and set about building up backlinks to my site by submitting my site to hundreds of new directories. I wrote more articles and submitted them to several directories and I'm still doing that. Then yesterday, it came back.
A couple days ago, I cancelled all my paid links. Now here's the deal. Do I UNCANCEL THEM. I am so afraid that if I don't uncancel them now after getting by old position back, that once Google sees them gone (and I've had them for over a year), that my site will disappear again. They are still "live" and not set to expire until 03 May. My PR went down a while back when everybody elses went down, but when that happened, my keyword position actually improved, this just before it disappeared.
Now I'm back where I was, page 1 and 2 for my keywords and now I don't know what to do about my paid links. I really like two of them as one is totally relevant for my site and is natural for visitors there to visit my site, while the other two are a science site and and a newspaper.
What to do??? Do you think Google has already discounted the links from these three sites and removing them will not have an impact, or will removing them cause yet another undesired shift and cause me to go into exile again. Or, is there really no way of knowing?
By the way, it is not the site listed in my signature at the bottom. I prefer not to put it here because these forum posts end up on page one of the search engines when someone searches for me by my business name on the web and I prefer privacy.