diberry - 8:31 pm on Jul 24, 2012 (gmt 0)
Indyank, I am not penalized. I've gotten the post-Penguin "no manual action" email.
Now, as for the sidebar links, I don't think we're talking about the same thing. These aren't blogs for profit - these are the 2010s equivalent of the 1990s homepage: people blogging for family or just for fun. They tend to put all their favorite sites into the blogroll, like fans. They've never heard of SEO, they're not running ads. Every blog I run or follow attracts these sorts of inbounds, but only this one got Penguinized.
I think for these to be a problem, there would need to be some indication that the little blogs were fake. Say, virtually the same blogroll on each one, or the topics of the little blogs always being tightly matched to mine. That's just not the case. It's just random people putting up blogrolls for fun. I can't see Google punishing webmasters because non-webmasters blogging for free decide to plonk them in the blogroll.