aristotle - 7:23 pm on Oct 30, 2012 (gmt 0)
I'm assuming that even if you trigger Penguin, it gets weighed against other variables and might not take effect if you have enough strong quality signals).
I have doubts about that assumption. Keep in mind that penguin appears to include a backlink devaluation as one of its effects, even if it does nothing else. That's apparently why some pages on many penguinized sites only fall slightly in the rankings, or can even hold onto a number 1 ranking for their main keyword in some cases. One result is that some penguinized sites aren't hurt nearly as much as others. For example, both of my penguinized sites still get far more traffic from Google than from Bing and Yahoo combined. But in my opinion the backlink devaluation weakens all the pages on a penguinized site at least slightly, even those that hold on to a number 1 ranking for their main keyword.