SnowMan68 - 12:05 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)
Yes, but all that happens is the links get evaluated more rigorously. If you start appearing in the top three postions on competitive SERPs, or get enough total SERP exposure, or otherwise come to Google's attention, your links get that level of rigour anyway.
I want to believe this, but it seems crazy to me that so many sites in highly competitive niches are getting away with obvious link buying. Most of these sites are getting "text links" on the side bar from relevant sites, but it's obvious as hell its a Paid Link. We're talking phrases that bring in 100,000+ searches a month. Every single link is the same old thing. How do they pass the sniff test with a more rigorous Google?