Planet13 - 8:13 am on May 7, 2012 (gmt 0)
I was just about to type a rant, but thought better of it, and did a Ctrl-A Backspace just before hitting the Submit button...
I truly don't understand WHY google would be doing this.
I thought that any of those links WOULD have been simply discounted, no?
Reading between the lines, it seems to me that google has a bigger problem dealing with manipulative links than they admit, and thus are going on a highly publicized (for google, anyway, who are normally hush on anything related to their Algo) campaign to "beat the bushes" and frighten webmasters into cleaning up their own sites.
Otherwise, if not that, aren't they simply just being punitive?
My gut feeling is that google IS having a harder time than they would like to admit dealing with manipulative back links, and that their highly publicized (for google, anyway) backlink warnings are meant to help scare the masses watching into compliance.
I wouldn't be surprised if some of the influential SEO bloggers are being "manipulated" by google into helping to publicize this issue in order to help google curtail link spam. I think maybe some of those bloggers are victims of some well choreographed social engineering by their contacts at google.