With sites apparently hardly recovering, or not at all, this means Google results are extremely vulnerable for foul play. Anyone with a "clean" site, or -even better- a couple of "clean" sites- (and a big budget) can control not just one sites' position, but the entire outcome for a search term by hiring a bunch of link spammers and target everyone else for that search. Down goes everyone else, reigns Mr. "clean". I just can't believe this.
Does it sound paranoid to state this may be one of the reasons big brands (think: deep pockets) are ranking so well these days?