Hello BHW, I have worked the last year in a niche that used to be completely saturated by spam until a few years ago, and remains very competitive. It's well known that this industry's sites are manually reviewed as the competition is in the same league as 'payday loans' and such. A couple weeks ago, my site saw a sudden increase in ranking for the main keyword, as well as all the secondary keywords. Our organic visits quintupled overnight. Link building had been stopped for over a month, and all links are as white hat as links can get - manually contacting webmasters and asking them to link to a good page, every single one. I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this. I have a hunch that for really competitive niches a site cannot rank until it PASSES a manual review. If you have experience doing white hat in well-monitored industries, please let me know if you have seen something similar before. People who respond and say things like "that might be the case" or "that's probably not what happened" will add no value to this thread, and I kindly ask them not to submit their replies. Cheers.