I have recently taken over a site that has some kind of penalty. 6 months ago (before I was working on it) it had a PR3 and ranked reasonably well. then it disappeared and went to the dreaded PR0. Now I have taken it over and am struggling to get it back up. I've cleaned it upcompletely, no optimisaiton at all, re-written the content as duplication was one issue, and the site has got back to a PR1. Rankings are still poor adn I haven't a clue where to go from here.
I have the same situation with one of our sites. 4 months ago it was worse then a PR0 - we had the grey bar :( 3 months ago the site went to a PR0 and then this month to PR1.
Before the site was penalised, it did have a PR4.
I think this is just going to be a long process of regaining Google's trust. We started by cleaning up the site and checking all our links and once this process had been completed it still took a couple of months to even get to a PR0.
Now, as tigger recommends, it a slow process of re-building the site's link popularity.
One question, when you do a backlink search on Google for your site, are any reported? A search for our site comes back with none even though before we were penalised we had a few hundred.
Unfortunatley I'm not sure that dunping the domain is going to be an option at this stage. The site has several backlinks, none are showing in Google, but I thought that G. only listed those on sites over PR4, so I'm not too worried about that at this stage, other SEs are listing them.
SO I guess it'll be the regular updates and building the inbounds...:-D
I did read (somewhere in the archives) that removing a penalised site with a robots.txt file for a couple of months, then resubmitting it (making sure that it's squeaky clean) was likely to work. Anyone had any success with this?