mantucket - 2:39 pm on Apr 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
patc, I'm sure I can fish up the segments from recent matt cutts videos where he says you will get notifications in most cases of what the issue is in automatic penalties. Matt has also described when penalties are lifted or expire... manual penalties are like a 'timeout' that expire after some amount of time, depending on severity, and automated ones lift once the alg reverses its opinion, i.e. you fix your site.
Up to now, I'd agree 'they'd rather you figure it out by yourself', but to me it seems like this is a step towards more ethical biz practices: smaller operations do not have resources to 'figure it out ourselves', which creates a bias towards big $$ operators. The sooner a respectable site can reverse the damage, the less impact these google wreaks on the economy with one of their experiments...
Well, I'd be up for combining all the hints we've heard so far into a straw-horse diagnostic flowchart, that the community can vet, and maybe we could ask google for comment..