Planet13 - 5:35 pm on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
It's like everyone knows they're pushing the line, but they look at what others are doing and want to copy it.
In the niches I look at, which do tend to be more mom and pop stores, they do use the automation that wheel mentions and they do push the line.
If they don't, then they are relegated to also-ran status.
One competitor of mine who has the nicest site of any AND had the best links (unsolicited, aged, and from VERY relevant sites) has been dropping in the SERPs lately.
Back in January he was around #4 - #5. Nowadays, you will find him toward #16 to #18.
His crime? No spammy links, and his anchor text isn't optimized at all since I don't think he ever ASKED for a link.
It's too bad, because if I were google, I would put him at #2 in the SERPs (right BEHIND my site, of course).