I have many sites. One site, seems penalty prone.
Panda dropped it to around the 300 mark in the SERPS.
Then Penguin hit and it practically vanished from the SERPS.
Now it is in (what I would use to call) the 30+ penalty position. Does that even exist any more? According to SEOMoz, my SEO profile smacks the daylights out of my competitors.
I have not changed anything that I do or removed any backlinks, yet Google cannot seem to make up its mind as to what penalty should apply. It seems adamant that a penalty SHOULD apply though.
And re-consideration requests are met with templated responses about how my backlink profile looks un-natural. I can see that it does. There are 3 sites from Russia linking to me from every footer area of their sites. Over 150,000 links all with the same anchor text.
Google state they want explanations and I tell them that I did not ask for those links and the webmasters do not respond to requests to remove them. Google are un-interested in actual explanations. I don't think a real person is even checking reinclusion requests any more. Clearly no-one would ask for those links. And clearly if they could be removed, I would have done so considering the currently link-hating Penguin climate.