So I want to start out with the most serious penalty and explain how you can detect this level of penalty. Then over time I will explain different types of penalties, and if it is really a penalty or not. Sometimes it could be another site stealing your content and Google indexing (put into Google results) the stolen content and not properly indexing the original content owner.
So let's use some real world examples to explain how this works.
1. MyBlogGuest.com was penalized by Google several months ago. They are still penalized, and how do I know this for certain?
Because if you do a Google search for myblogguest.com they do not show up in the Google search results at all. Also if you check the Google cache you see this:
MyBlogGuest.com shows a PR4, however it is not as it is taken completely out of Google.
Google will also send a message about the penalty to this site Google Webmaster Tools.
So if the site is not in the Google cache and not in the Google index then it has no PageRank no matter what the little green bar shows, it used to have PageRank before Google penalized it.
The reason you want to perform both tests is that sometimes Google does not show the site in the Google cache, when it really is. So if it is not showing in the Google cache and the site is showing in the Google search results when you do a search like xyz.com then the site is safe and okay.
EliteConnections.com - Google recently removed the penalty from this site, so it is back in the Google cache now.
Previously when we ran the exact same two tests on this site we see the exact same results as example #1.
This is the most severe penalty Google can give you, and it may take 1-2 years before Google takes it off, if ever.
We also know that Google sent an email to the owner of this site via Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).
Now let's look at example #3, of course it cannot be the same or SEO would be too easy.
This site is not in the Google cache and not showing in the Google results.
However no message was sent by Google to the website owner's webmaster tools.
Because Google made a mistake and please do not be surprised, Google makes many thousands of mistakes daily.
This site is a victim of having its content stolen and Google indexed the site that violated copyright laws, and the real owner and creator of the original content is screwed and his site is not in Google at all.
The site stealing all the content (scrapping) is in Israel and the name of the site is
You can write this guy and he will take your stolen content down. My question is why has Google not penalized this evil doer's site after it has been reported multiple times for over two months. Yet Google has done nothing ...