1script - 3:51 pm on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)
@Inspector: 6 months later the site is getting about as much traffic from Google as it was getting before the penalty was "revoked". For all intents and purposes it's still penalized even though they notified me of the manual action's removal.
@turbocharged: if you did remove links then yes, you would lose some PR and hence the ranks. But in my case I never had any links (to the particular site I was writing about) and did not remove them either. I simply spruced up the site (new design, new features, more "contemporary" look) and re-submitted an RR. I'm convinced that the penalty was revoked simply because a reviewer liked how the site looks a little better this time - completely subjectively.
So, the site went down when the penalty was applied (below where it might naturally rank) and went further down still when the penalty was removed (or so Google says). If not link profile change, what would push it further down?
@EditorialGuy: possible but it essentially means that a penalty cannot be removed - it will always be present in the form of the trust signal. MC does talk about penalty as something that can really go away, so I'm not sure how to read this. Why would you remove it in the first place if you're still not sure about it and keep that "negative trust" data for the site?