Preaching to the converted here.
There's doing it Google's recommended way. Then there's what works. THey are not the same.
It used to be that doing it Google's recommended way is what worked 'long term'. So we could be self-satisfied doing it Google's way because we knew that Google would eventually penalize the offenders. This is no longer the case. Ignoring Google's guidelines works fine, it's repeatable, and works longerm. The only risk today is a hand review and there's precious few of those.