Has anyone seen the story doing the rounds today about Interflora?
Their SEO firm had been doing some blogger outreach which focused on giving away flowers in exchange for a review and a link back to the site.
It was working well and is something most SEO/PR firms would consider a great strategy but their very impressive rankings were torn down by a penalty this week.
Looks like they crossed the line into link buying and Google took action.
I don't think all is as it seems but I do think Google is in the wrong if it is for these blog links. This is a solid PR strategy that has stood the test of time, so who are they to say that it's no longer an option? It's not like it was spamming or black-hat, so why not let it be?