incrediBILL - 4:32 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)
No algorithm is immune to producing false positives and false negatives, as measured against, say, the conclusions of a large human focus group.
It's what's called "collateral damage" when friendlies accidentally take a hit trying to eliminate masses of bad guys.
You know they have a big list of URLs they test against which are supposed to either generate positive or negative results and people that complain they got thrown under the Penguin bus has someone at Google look at their site, which could backfire, as it goes into one of those 2 lists for testing to make sure it stays punished by Penguin or escapes in the next update.
Based on the vast numbers of people claiming they report problems with various Google updates, and the next revision of the update still doesn't correct the problem, there are only two conclusions you can draw.
1) That the issue causing your site to be inadvertently penalized is too low priority for their team to deal with at this time and they just haven't gotten around to it yet, assuming they ever will do anything about it, or,
2) Your site was intended to be demoted in the first place and that's where it will stay and it's probably in the list of URLs being used to test to make sure it stays demoted as they update Penguin.
Not a good place to be either way it goes.
Remember Spock's dying words about the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few, etc. They project a percentage of how many sites in Google's index will be impacted and I'm sure there's another percentage of how much collateral damage is in that overall percentage impacted. They'll probably only work just so long to make adjustments to fix the most common errors, the low hanging fruit, and the rest will just be left to suffer.
Guess what I'm saying is people trying to recover after a whole year using the same domains, same content, same back links, etc. should probably abandon ship and start somewhat from scratch and try to avoid any of the pitfalls that might have gotten the site lumped into collateral damage in the first place.
If it were mine, I'd relaunch it squeaky clean without buying any links from anyone. Stay away from those submission services, directories except maybe a handful of the top respected ones, not that they matter much anymore.
Here's a simple rule of thumb, if John Wu or Matt Cutts asked you why you did something on your site or in your link building and the answer would probably be a lie, then don't do it.