After two months of penalization, Google has apparently lifted the penalty that was imposed on the J.C. Penny website in February. J.C. Penney is turning the penalty into linkbait, a move that currently appears to helping them with SEO.
After making changes to their search engine algorithm, Google had penalized J.C. Penney for supposed “shady SEO practices”. J.C. Penny was able to clean up their backlink profile, get rid of certain paid ads, and try again with Google, but instead of seeing a drop in links, the site has seen an increase in links.
By penalizing the site, Google inevitably put the site in the news, which provided quality links to their site. Global media, newspapers and many well-respected blogs covered the story, and those links are considered to come from valid, high quality content. Quality linkbait is good SEO.