Google could it forget to remove a penalty that has no cause?

Are the penalties imposed on a site for non-compliance with the guidelines of Google are lifted automatically or can they remain in place after the site has been modified and brought into compliance?

It is indeed possible that the penalties are not waived if you do not ask if we judge by the response made ​​by Matt Cutts to a webmaster.
One who thought that his site was penalized because of his newletter on Gmail, which users who had subscribed actually, marked as spam to not receive it ... He asked that his site be reconsidered and traffic has returned.
His conclusion was that we are penalized because of the spam report on Gmail, but a false conclusion.

Google forgets penalty by Matt Cutts

Here the passages of interest:

  1. When reviewing a site, we do not take into consideration what you say in the text of your request!
  2. A few years ago your site had links to sites of poor quality. A penalty was given manually.
  3. Then on April 11 you asked for a reconsideration (meanwhile the site experienced a drop in traffic).
  4. The links to sites of poor quality were not there, so we canceled the previous penalty. (And the traffic is back).

What is important above all is that this applies to manual penalties. It is possible and probable that penalties given by robots are automatically removed with the cause. But we know that this is not the case for those of Panda Update.

Your site can remain penalized for years without you noticing. Only the negative signals by accumulating, as shellfish that are encrusted with time on the hull of a ship, with their weight will eventually cause it to sink.