In 2015, I spent months desperately trying to understand why my domain move to PainScience.com was business disaster, losing about half my site traffic and revenue. I never did understand it. And in all that research, I never came across this phenomenon: “ghost” penalties, a silent Google domain penalty on a domain that never expires. *shudder*
If that’s possible, then any domain could be tainted forever, to any degree, impossible to rank with, impossible to base a thriving business on — thanks to buggy Google code. While Google’s search technology has changed the world and is undeniably brilliant, this is a nauseating reminder than it’s also a massive house-of-cards, which no one at Google is fully in control of.