A Google Groups thread on the -60 penalty at Google (there are so many of these now, -6, -10, -250, etc) now has several responses from Matt Cutts of Google.
Matt replies specifically to the nature of the posters site and not specifically to the nature of what a minus sixty penalty is. But the lack of not addressing the -60 specifically, can these minus whatever be associated with Matt's response to this user?
Matt tells the user that his backlinks look "unusual" and asks if he has been collecting links in an unusual manner. Here is Matt's post:
ShyBoy, have you been collecting backlinks in any unusual ways? It looks like you may have, and I would pay special attention to that. For example, if you had been attempting to get PageRank via paid links on various templates, then when that PageRank stops flowing (e.g. if Google improves its detection in various ways), the fact that you have less PageRank can also mean that a site won't rank as well.
If that applies to you, my advice would be to pay special attention to that issue, in addition to the other good advice you've already gotten.
Matt tells him to go to those links and fix them by removing them and then submit a reconsideration request with Google. Matt even points him in the right direction of finding those links and hopefully addressing them.
Now, some may think that most or all minus whatever penalties are associated with bad links. Some might not. What do you think? Do you think most minus X penalties are associated with one's backlinks? Take our poll:
Forum discussion at Google Groups.