fathom - 7:28 pm on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: fathom at 7:55 pm (utc) on Mar 29, 2012]
This was a little too easy, for my liking.
I didn't read the thread so no idea what others have posted but you didn't plant yourself as a competitor you planted yourself as the website owner... huge difference... how did you advised Google that you where "a competitor" and not the "webpage owner"?
Let's assume you accessed any number of Google accounts associated with the website/webpage... does a competitor have access to those? ...the owner does... wouldn't that demonstrate to Google an owner signal? It is really very easy for Google to determine ownership especially if you use Google products and services and since you were testing a Google product - Google knew you weren't a competitor.
Repeat the same process this time on an actual competitor (your worse enemy) and see if you can get them to be removed from results.
I'm a betting man and I bet if you spend your revenue on your competitor they will (at worse) climb in results and then fall back to where they were if the link manipulation is detected and (at best) climb in results until the competitive landscape overtakes them again... but they will not disappear.
The problem with "A TEST" the output can also be a fluke... so how do you determine if your test was valid?
[edited by: fathom at 7:55 pm (utc) on Mar 29, 2012]