This penalty, that penalty, this filter, that filter - we now have a new one named the "-30 Penalty." But this one I think may have some substance. A WebmasterWorld thread has a lot of discussion on it, 6 pages, so far. Here are some quotes.
I just got my site rank #31 on its own domain name and bunch of keywords/phrases I usually watch were bumped from #1 to precisely #31. Those #2 through #10 are sort of all over the map but generally within the first 60 results.
WebmasterWorld admin Tedster said:
I've seen urls get a -30 and then seen that penalty removed in stages over several weeks after some condition was fixed. It sure looked automated to me. No, I can't prove that, except to say that Matt Cutts talked about wanting to do some automated penalties with automated removal quite a while ago. And in general, Google always looks to automate wherever they can because "it scales".
Donna suggests the cause of the penalty in this case:
I just looked at a site that someone on another forum posted the url for, which was hit by the minus thirty penalty. Turns out, that site would be what I would classify as a "thin affiliate". Does that ring any bells with any of your sites?
I think there are many things that can trigger this type of penalty. I have seen it also. I also believe it is automated.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.
This entry was written the night before and scheduled to go live at the time below.