I posted much of this on webmasterworld but I value peoples opinions on here highly, so i'd love some responses from you guys. I have had 4 EMD websites hit with the -950 "somewhere really low in the SERPS" penalty. I have had 1 non-EMD website hit with the -950 for its main terms, but survive for a few others. I have had 1 EMD website survive unscathed. after looking at my own sites at length I believe this is an over-optimization penalty which is keyword-based. i feel pretty certain on that, I dont think most people have been hit with an EMD penalty. im not sure on whether the penalty is for on-page over-optimization, or link based. perhaps it is both. either would apply to my punished sites, where I have obviously targetted certain searches zealously, without doing anything approaching black hat. your typical site owner would not do this (or, at least google's ideal site owner wouldn't). I have a strong suspicion there is an issue with too many footer links and links not in sentences e.g. forum sigs. the site that survived is 6 months old, has my best content and has some pretty decent backlinks. so either there is a few months grace period with regards the new penalty, or I have done something right here. I feel the solution is within google's regularly repeated mantra "pretend google doesn't exist". my strategy: a) 301 one website to another domain, whilst also de-optimizing the content and improving the backlinks. b) de-optimize another site, improve the backlinks. c) leave the rest.