Google specifically references an example where individual actions to recover from a previous manual penalty are reverted immediately after the reconsideration request is successful:
Google states that when the repeated violation is carried out with express intention to spam or otherwise violate the Webmaster Guidelines then they may take further, more severe action:
What does Google mean by Further Action?
There is currently no indication what further action may be taken on the site, with Gary Illyes unaware of the detail of the article. However, we suspect it might include one or several of the following:
- Closer scrutiny of your website, thus requiring you to do more to be successful in reconsideration
- Longer penalty times
- Removal of the index entirely
- PageRank Drop
We suspect that where the spam is blatant it is going to be somewhat difficult to recover in any reasonable time frame.
This is not the first time this issue has been raised
Matt Cutts briefly referred to this exact point back in 2013 when referring to a question about the Interflora and how they overcame their ban in just 11 days. Matt Cutts has always said he does not like relating to particular cases and instead give general advice that is relevant to all webmasters. In this case, Matt Cutts went on to talk about how offenders who repeatedly spam will get hit with a stronger penalty than someone who has been caught by their spam filter for the very first time:
You can see the full video where he talks about this below:
Matt Cutts: Repeat Offenders can get a more severe manual penalty
Matt Cutts in a side issue to the main question gives some helpful advice about how repeated offenders can get much harsher Manual Penalty.
How Common are the Harsher Penalties?
While we should not read too much into this, John Mehlem (German Google Webmaster Team) indicated when posting a link to the Google article that such cases were “rare”:
That being said, this issue has been around since at least 2013 when talked about by Matt Cutts. We suspect that there are multiple shades of grey here, and it might be a little more common than what John Mehlem lets on.
Simple solution – Adhere to the Webmaster Guidelines
The only sure way to ensure this does not apply to you is to adhere to the Webmaster Guidelines, and if for some reason you do get a manual penalty you should not revert any changes you made to recover from that penalty:
Update: 22nd September 2015
Former Googler, Pedros Dias, has spoken out about the recent Google Blog Post by saying that the post was unnecessary and puts Google in a “Punisher light” instead of acting as a guide.
Personally, we do not see any harm in reminding spammers the seriousness of repeat offending, and indeed harsher penalties for repeat offenders is something that is common in all areas of life in any event. Perhaps Google was just trying to head off an increasing trend of people reverting changes made for reconsideration requests.