martinibuster - 12:24 am on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: tedster at 2:03 am (utc) on Oct 29, 2012]
If this were true, then you would see this happening all over and the search results would be nothing like they are now.
I don't believe BaseballGuy is lying. I believe he is accurately reporting the facts. I think what may need to be considered is that the sites BaseballGuy defeated were not in a competitive niche and likely had a flimsy backlink profile. Naturally it would be easier to defeat a site like that AND not "see this happening all over." The two viewpoints can be reconciled.
There are several statements in this thread that seem to imply that link devaluations happen just to dodgy or spammy links. Pretty much all links are subjected to some form of devaluation. This has been happening since around 2003/2004. This is related to relevance factors, not just links Google thinks are manipulated or dodgy. Even non-dodgy links are subject to devaluation.
Also, my observations about similar anchor text triggering a penguin event lead me to believe that it's not just the anchor text, but the anchor text plus other factors that corroborate a conclusion that the site is engaging in an unnatural link scheme. In my opinion it's not just the anchor text, there are other factors involved to confirm that a site is manipulating rankings. Otherwise we would see more false positives, i.e. "see this happening all over."
[edit reason] change reference per poster request [/edit]
[edited by: tedster at 2:03 am (utc) on Oct 29, 2012]