I've had a site for five years that I really only began doing SEM for in the summer of 2011. I signed up to directories in my same niche (about 30) and wrote some articles (about 5) and submitted those to the top article sites. My onsite SEO is/was real good. After doing this I never ranked real high in anything but I ranked high enough to get a few leads off the site a month, which is good considering what the site is for. But then last year around August or September I stopped getting leads. I was busy with other stuff so I didn't look into it until November when I noticed on my analytics account that the traffic went way down and I pretty much vanished in SERP with 10 keywords that I always was on page 1 - 3 with. The only thing I could think of being the problem was some links I bought for real cheap early last year. But the more I read the posts here, it doesn't sound like 200 would really raise a red flag. I also didn't get any notice from Google. One thing that I had done and am still doing is I have about 8 pages that are virtually the same but have different file names, meta info, h1 and h2 tags, and about 10 differently named anchor links going throughout the site. This was to target specific cities in my area. So the only thing that changes is the name of the city, but it's done throughout the page at all levels. I've noticed many of my competitors doing the same thing and they rank high. Could this page duplication be the problem or could it be those 200 bad links I bought? Or all those niche directories which now Google doesn't like?