First thing first, ‘What is Google Penalty ?’
“A Google penalty is the negative impact on a website’s search rankings based on updates to Google’s search algorithms and/or manual review. The penalty can be an unfortunate by-product of an algorithm update or an intentional penalization for various black-hat SEO techniques.” – WikiPedia
In the definition above, it is clearly stated that any violators of Google’s ethics must have meet penalty. Whether it is a publisher, making spammy and poor quality content or a website having irrelevant backlinks, they must face off a penalty.