dvduval - 5:29 pm on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)
So long as google can be exploited, it will be exploited. An area that I have complained about are sites that buy pagerank and then sell it to the highest bidder. There were "link bidding directories" that would get high pagerank site links and then turn around and sell links. After a google update or two, the pagerank was gone, and the people who bought links lost out as well. Worse still, these sites gave directories a bad name when there are honest people trying to build quality directories.
The same scenario is played out in multiple industries. Should you stop doing the right thing?
Keep building a site people love. Google is important, but if your users love your site, it will trump the competition eventually. And maybe even one day Google will figure out how to help honest people with their "trust rank".