I've heard dozens, maybe hundreds, of different types of Google penalties, much of them are completely false - clearly typical Google myths.
Here is a new one to add to the pile of Google penalty myths.
A WebmasterWorld thread has a old time SEO who is getting out of the SEO game. He is selling off his internet properties, his web sites.
One of his sites he listed for auction on one of those web site auction web sites. Shortly after listing the site up for auction, the site dropped for its major keyword phrase in Google. A keyword it ranked top in Google for years and years.
I posted this particular site up for auction and listed the fact it was #1 on Google for it's main term as an incentive to buy.
48 hours after listing it, it lost it's #1 spot. After 3 years and surviving every Panda and Penguin.
He asked, "I know we laugh at co-incidences here and see plenty of paranoia. But could listing your site for sale affect rankings?"
Seems to me to be a really sad coincidence - really sad.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.
Image credit to BigStockPhoto for auctioneer