Even though I've read that PDF with the guidelines for Google SERP ratings and other discussions on penalties, I can't figure out how the process works from selection to when the trigger is pulled. Maybe I haven't been searching in the right places. It certainly doesn't seem consistent by observation of the SERPs. I'm curious about this because when I watch one of my niches I've seen sites outright deindexed with no real issues aside from spammy links. Yet another site with a similar link profile doesn't get axed. Deindexing is almost always manual, right? Supposedly, the raters don't check backlinks when doing the evaluations, but somebody must if they're getting rid of sites that are totally clean onsite. Also looking at the top 10 for said niche, some awful looking sites remain bulletproof update after update and they don't have the cleanest looking backlinks either. Footer links, obvious blog networks. So, is the selection random? From spam reports? Just a routine combing of the top 10/20 of high profile terms? After the raters have made their votes known, who decides on what happens to the offending site? I've seen talk about people losing their links by manual devaluation. I'd like to know exactly how this works without deindexing the pages the links are on. Hoping someone here has some inside info on the whole thing.