fathom - 8:28 am on Feb 6, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: fathom at 9:01 am (utc) on Feb 6, 2013]
But as long as your site remains flagged by Penguin, you likely have zero chance of every ranking for those phrases again.
So (in your theory) unflagging solves the problem. OK... well...
If you have 1,000 inorganic links and 100 organic links and your original ranks were based on a total of 1,100 links and PENGUIN detected the 1,000 inorganic ones and you lost those you have only 100 links left.
You can't get keyword links back or you'll simply continue to fall victim to the same process but if you wanted to prove that you can unflag a domain you only need to make your problem seem "really small" or far more granular than it current is... (which is something Google says all the time to many, many SEO oriented questions). So in my original premise you had 90% inorganic - if you made that more like 10% inorganic then you can easily see recovery.
But 1,000 inorganic links are powerful links because they are indeed inorganic so just getting 1,000 new organic links will not reproduce the ranks you had you would likely need to produce 10,000 organic links (guessing here since competitiveness isn't a constant across all industries) would produce a recovery impact.
Some people claim you need to remove links. (OK I'll concede that is one way)
Google suggests removal of link because they may seem embarrassing but they don't actually commit to the instructions of removal for PENGUIN to recover.
They do suggest removing the page and you won't be impact by the links that go to a non-existing page or adding a nofollow will do as well... but they also don't commit to saying these will allow you to recover... they suggest you can do it and you won't have a negative impact.
Every domain has inorganic links (you don't have control over most links developed to you - assumes you are somewhat established) and all you have to do is look at Wikipedia and pick a topic and see the massive amount of (one example) search engine optimization anchors to an SEO page to realize the reason not everyone is impact by PENGUIN is that inorganic links are quite granular on most domains when you compare them to the organic pattern... thus it isn't a problem.
The biggest issue for anyone being impacted by PENGUIN is... + PANDA and/or EMD and/or over-optimization... is a major conundrum.
[edited by: fathom at 9:01 am (utc) on Feb 6, 2013]