In this paper, we introduce the incremental temporally weighted principal component analysis (ITWPCA) algorithm, based on singular value decomposition update, and the incremental temporally weighted visual tracking with spatial penalty (ITWVTSP) algorithm for robust visual tracking. ITWVTSP uses ITWPCA for computing incrementally a robust low dimensional subspace representation (model) of the tracked object. The robustness is based on the capacity of weighting the contribution of each single sample to the subspace generation to reduce the impact of bad quality samples, reducing the risk of model drift. Furthermore, ITWVTSP can exploit the a priori knowledge about important regions of a tracked object. This is done by penalizing the tracking error on some predefined regions of the tracked object, which increases the accuracy of tracking. Several tests are performed on several challenging video sequences, showing the robustness and accuracy of the proposed algorithm, as well as its superiority with respect to state-of-the-art techniques.