I have been doing some testing, and it looks like google is judging your book by its cover.. If you use the same google webmasters to verify two sites, one that has been penalized for BH, and another that is completely white hat, it will affect your whitehat site as well. They do judge the owners of websites by one penalized site. they also connect the IP's. I have tested this by simply entering the same niche with 2 different sites on 2 different google accounts. One google account with a penalized site, and one google account without. I did the exact same SEO to both sites, they were twin sites, on different domains and google accounts. My penalized account made it to #9 within 4 or 5 days or so, my clean website went straight to #4. All using the same SEO. Think this is just coincidence? guess again, my penalized google account site is now deindexed. My other site has a solid spot as #2, if i do backlink checks on the sites, they both have the same backlinks, same anchor and everything. I believe this is why it is so hard for some of us to rank, they will rank a trusted user over a penalized user any day. I did this study because i know how to get rankings. With one of my google acounts, i was not getting rankings. and i realized that i had one site with backlink penalties from a very long time ago, it was a test site. Google Judges the Book by its Cover... I am positive..