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I've been following the Penguin update and this doesn't sound like the cause. The OP said they did not do any crappy link building.

I've even gone in to Alexa to start verifying all of our back-links. All of our links are from blogs / news / twitter , et al. That said, it doesn't mean Penguin didn't hurt us. Algorithms have corner cases.

Use Open Site Explorer to start on your bad link search:


OpenSE and Majestic SEO databases are not really going to find the spammy links that penguin is targeting:


It's come out that for a few thousand, you can buy black hat's who will do crappy link building for your competitors. So, possible scenario: Safe Shepard stepped on somebody's toes and they retaliated by hiring (or creating) a ton of crappy back links to the website. Unlikely, but possible.

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