---- When are Penalties Lifted? Video answer from Matt Cutts
GlobalMax - 2:29 pm on Feb 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
I would respectfully disagree with the term "Algorithmic penalties." Matt Cutts never uses that phrase in the video. Instead, he says, "if your site is affected by the algorithm."
So, if I understand Planet13's point and Matt Cutt's statement, regarding penalties, algorithmic classifications of transgressions differ from manual classifications in that algorithmic classifications do not impose penalties that linger beyond resolution (and re-crawling/re-indexing/etc).
The implication as I understand it is if there is a change to the Algorithm and all of a sudden your site is not ranking anymore, it is probably because the new and improved Algorithm thinks you are doing something in violation of the TOS.
Yes, and, of course, there's also the flip side where the site changed while the algorithm (or the relevant parts, at least) remained constant.