JohnMu replied in another discussion () and suggested starting a new topic.
Both sites have received "unatural links" messages in Webmaster Tools. Neither site has had a "link building" campaign ever.
By using 3rd party tools (e.g. Majestic) I can see a lot of unnatural links pointing at both sites, but I didn't put those links there. I have, for years, warned people not to buy into blog networks, profile link spam, paid text links, etc. and it's easy for a spam peddler to add spam links pointing to my site, since making spam is what they do all day.
Thus far, neither site appears to be affected by "penalties," and in my own case, getting traffic from Google is not especially important relative to the large audience I already have. I have submitted reconsideration requests on both sites as JohnMu suggested, but the big questions remain:
1. What should a webmaster do when something like this happens? 2. Will Google still state that what others do on the web should not be able to affect the rankings of one's web site?
3. If #2 is not true, does Google realize that they are actually creating a larger market for the spam they want to prevent? 4. Why, if you find unnatural links, don't you simply delete the links from your index and carry on?
It is far less important to me, to get answers about MY sites - and far more important to everyone that Google address the issues which affect all webmasters.