A keyword penalty does not suppress the authority of a domain, or it's 'rank-worthiness'. It is, instead, just a handicap that rides 'on top' of a domain. Here's what I mean: On two separate occasions now, I've over-done the amount of PBN links with exact match anchors, and I've gotten myself a keyword penalty (ie, my SERPs for that keyword alone are smashed down to page 5 or 6 somewhere). In the months after the penalty, I've had the PBN links removed (to reduce OBL count on my domains) and within 2-3 weeks of removing the links, the keyword has shot up to high first-page spots, and has stayed there without any further link building. So, I'll be repeating this, expecting the same outcome. Build loads of high value, exact-match anchors that flow lots of link juice, then wait for keyword penalty, then remove links after a month or two and wait for ranking. The theory simply is that G doesn't devalue it's opinion of a domains quality because of keyword over-op, but instead the keyword penalty just rides over the top of a domain and inhibits its ability to rank for that kw, but does not prevent the domain from accumulating 'juice' - and once those anchors/links are removed, the keyword penalty resolves and the domain rockets to the top. As I've seen countless times, and posted about in the past, removing links does NOT (often) result in rankings dropping - and the reason behind that is probably the same reason that the above happens. Moz calls it 'link echoes', and whilst I don't have a name for it, I continue seeing it over and over again. Seems like a backwards way to get to the top, I know, but both times, it's accidentally worked. Now to see if it can be reproduced, with the same outcome.