I'm not saying they weren't within Google's written guidelines (I haven't looked and I'll take your word on that) I'm saying that whoever makes these decisions at Google felt manipulated, and brought the hammer down. I'm not defending them, fer chrissakes. But having this all come to light within weeks of the JCP and Forbes stories was certainly unfortunate timing for Overstock. Had it come to light on its own, I bet it wouldn't have gotten near the reaction.
MY lesson I take from this is to make sure MY tracks are covered, whether white, black, grey or flaming pink.
(I liked your first expletive better, ork ork)