my site was hit by a google penalty first week of october and since then everything has been downhill including significant loss in traffic. i did receive a warning in webmaster central detection of unnatural links pointing to other websites.

i suspect that google imposed this penalty because they think that i was selling paid links. i did use nofollow at page level even still google denied my reconsideration request.

I am confused because as an owner of the site i am free to sell links or do whatever i want with my website. What i dont understand is even after using nofollow, they have denied my reconsideration. Worse yet, google does not disclose the reason why it was penalized.

As far as i know once you put nofollow, you dont vouch for the link and the paid link becomes advertising link and does not pass pagerank.

i remember even daniweb is hit by google penalty, remember reading this in google forum.

Are there any other ways of recovering besides sending the reconsideration request?
Can my site recover automatically?

oh! This is my first post in daniweb, since 2005, quite a lot of time i guess.

you got this penalty because of bad neighborhood, Remove all the bad quality links and submit your site for reconsideration. You will be back

Legally you can do whatever you want with your site. Ethically, manipulating off-site ranking factors by participating in link schemes merits a certain demerit in your web pages' value.

My suggestion is to find ways to increase you web page's value internally by concentrating your efforts with on-site/on-page optimizable components, particularly your own, unique content. Then let the off-site influences dictate themselves, basically and naturally.

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