Google’s “minus 950” penalty comes up from time to time, and is also discussed on the WebmasterWorld forums.
This thread discusses what some webmasters claim to have received -950 penalties before and after the Google EMD update. Now they all say they are not eligible for EMD renewal because they don’t have an exact match domain. Note that Panda also thrashed around that time, but claims it’s not a site like Panda.
The question is, can we recover from the -950 penalty? In 2007, Google’s Cutts confirmed that the -950 penalty was associated with over-optimization.
In a thread, Donna said she helped restore the site, writing:
I had one site at -950 for a long time until I tried to unoptimize OnPage SEO, then it recovered within a month.
Whereas bwnbwn said there is no recovery,
950 is a death sentence, better move on.
Personally, I find it hard to believe that the site has recovered in the last few years and cannot recover.
WebmasterWorld’s Tedster writes:
My main point is this. No matter how low your current ranking is, it should not be cause for despair. The fact that your URL is still somewhere in the result set is a positive sign in a very negative situation.
The main point I want to make is that these “penalties” are algorithms that adapt over time but never go away completely all the time. , yes it’s still here in some way. Knowing which penalties your site has received can be difficult.
Forum discussion on WebmasterWorld.