Remember when I reported that we saw Google Sitelinks in position 60? I said then that it seems Google is admitting to the minus 60 penalty:
What I do find very interesting is that Googler, JohnMu, tells the webmaster to look at the -60 penalty Google Groups thread. Does he mean to imply that some sites with the -60 penalty, that deserve a number one position, will see Sitelinks in position 60, in these cases?
Well, the thread has been gaining steam since then and Googler, JohnMu, replied in the Google Groups thread once again. His reply was not specifically about the phenomenon of seeing a Sitelink result in the 60th position, which was the topic of the thread. But it was in regards to cleaning up the site from a spam perspective, in order to improve the site's ranking for its own name.
In fact, that webmaster came to our site and commented explaining things were getting better after he has cleaned up some problems on his site.
In short, this discussion seems to imply to me that Google is admitting to the minus 60ish penalty. Which likely comes to no surprise of many SEOs out there, but it is always nice to point to evidence like this. In fact, this is not the first time a Googler replied to a minus X penalty. Google's Matt Cutts replied to a minus 60 thread a couple month back, offering advice on cleaning up the site.
But yet, in a recent poll we conducted, 25-percent of SEOs feel the minus X penalties are not link related. Whereas, 47-percent said they feel they are link related.
Forum discussion continued at Google Groups.