Does anyone have a list of URLs or screenshots of the sites that were used in this linking scheme?
Be great to see what sites were used, and exactly how many links were used.
The article only mentions a couple thousand links - this isn't a huge quantity of links for a major retailer like Penny, so there must have been many more then this. I'd like to know if they were all coming from crap sites and how the sites were related to each other.
Personally I can't belive Google would demote Penny on this - what's to say one of there competitiors didn't buy these links? What evidence (other than quantity and relationship) does Google or this other SEO company have that Penny had anything to do with aquiring these links?
Sounds like Google is taking advantage of this very public event to make an example of someone alleged to have bought links - but again, what actual proof says Penny did this and not a competitor?
Perhaps this is what everyone should consider doing to their competitors (if you have the budget of course).
Scary thought really...