tedster - 4:31 am on Feb 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
This new webmaster video in the current series from Matt Cutts looks at the perennial question "When are penalties lifted?" [youtube.com...] Matt makes the distinction between algorithmic penalties and manual penalties.
1. Algorithmic penalties will "for the most part" be lifted as soon as you change the factors in your site that triggered the automatic penalty - and of course, after Google re-spiders and reprocesses the scoring.
2. A reconsideration request will usually not have any effect against an algorithmic penalty.
3. Manual penalties are designed to act like a time out "the vast majority of the time." Depending on the severity of the infraction, the period could be anywhere from 30 days up to much longer time periods, but all those will time out eventually.
4. A reconsideration request is most commonly weighed against the list of manual penalties. The judgment call the team makes when they review a request can revoke a manual penalty sooner than it was scheduled - if they feel everything is now within their guidelines.