If you notice, I also said "other techniques". I'm not going to disclose what I did, as it worked pretty darn well in a relatively short period of time.
<<edit>> It was the "millions of links" that finally caused the "negative" website to come crashing down.
I have also heard reports of guys in competitive niches neg SEO'ing their competitors with relative ease. I cannot confirm this as I have not seen their sites but I would have no reason to doubt them.
In my opinion, "weak backlink profile" is the reason I was able to knock a PR5 website down. The only thing the site had going for it in my opinion was "age". Yes, it did have quite a few relevant backlinks (I don't want to go into it....but the negative site had a VERY good backlink profile).
So take it as you may.....and yes, I'm purposely not disclosing some information (regarding the negative websites uber good backlink profile....just because I don't think it's relevant to this discussion), but at the end of the day it was knocked down with relative ease.
The fact of the matter is that "links still count", despite Google's best efforts with Penguin.....and this is because the Google algorithm is based upon links as a voting factor. Until they change that, links are still going to be king. It's just how you use your links that which will determine whether you survive the algorithm updates or not.
I personally know a couple of "web spammers" in real life.....one guy is driving a $130k AMG Mercedes and the other guy just bought the new turbo Porsche. I have seen their sites and when we talk about "Penguin" or any other barnyard zoo animals.....they start giving me crap and making fun of me and asking me "how's the paranoia fear culture over at WebmasterWorld workin' out for ya?".
So I'm looking at these guys, their huge bank accounts, and they're still making money despite Google's best efforts.
How is that fair? I don't spam, all of my sites are or were "white hat", in accordance with all "best practices" of the day.
Slight rant, but I digress....links are always going to be king.