CainIV - 5:14 am on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)
It can be frustrating when you see those types of tactics used.
I've also seen (recently) a top competitor dropped about 25 pages (to date. My initial conclusion after studying this competitor is that the 5000 inbound unrelated links from spam blogs and auto generated comments sort of killed it for them.
There are some industries where owners do this. I think the assumption is that they would rather get a taste of top 5 than to spend real time improving their brand and earning good links.
At the end of the day recurring is the name of the game.
And recurring means consistent, slow improvements toward the top. Clients / businesses appreciate building on methodical upward movements.
I think, as do others, that there will be some major updates in the sector of links. Don't be surprised to see some type of sitewide weighting filter, similar to Panda, applied against websites that currently rank well using only low quality links.
Currently C class, limited context and quantity is working.
But as an aggregate, those links are low quality on unrelated websites. A future series of signals could take into account the number of authority links versus low quality links to better determine who is playing by those rules.