Let me start off by saying I am well versed in SEO, etc... and our pages almost always get ranked well and indexed immediately.
Here is the problem.
We recently started a family of sites for our niche. The sites are all related but slightly different (see domains below). We are building them simultaneously and have linked them all together (ie with floating sidebar links). Eventually we will be revamping and creating our main site which is like the umbrella for all of them.
Here are the sites:
Play Daily Fantasy Basketball
Play Daily Fantasy Golf
Play Daily Fantasy Hockey
Play Daily Fantasy Baseball
Play Daily Fantasy Football
All was going well since launch about 3-4 months ago, then recently our articles suddenly stopped getting indexed immediately (and now take about 4-6 days to index) and when they do get indexed, they are buried in the SERPS completely.
This coincided (about 2 weeks after) with us adding the sidebar links to each other.
Would this be a case of Google punishing us because all the sites link together? Could there be another reason for the problems we are encountering.
We are really searing for answers here and ESPECIALLY possible solutions. The spring is arriving and sports is picking up and this situation is really hurting our progress and discouraging us.
Thanks for any help in advance!