I'm interested in figuring out if any link is a good link. Good being defined as NO PENALTY from Google. I understand that Google doesn't like some kinds of links and won't give your page or site any PR boost from that link, but that is different than incurring a penalty. So, what kind of links can actually get your site banned or negatively impacted by Google?
Several years ago, GoogleGuy cautioned webmasters about linking to "bad neighborhoods." Google's page quality guidelines are at [google.com...] and they include:
Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
In subsequent discussions here GoogleGuy restated this as:
Don't link to spam.
<aside>FYI, your question is specific to Google and it belongs in the Google News forum. From the charter [webmasterworld.com] for this forum:
Questions about links as used by specific search engines for ranking purposes should be put in that search engine's forum.