hitchhiker - 3:11 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)
I think the problem is that many of us who've religiously followed the guidelines (specifically in terms of quality) have been burnt badly recently. *I can see blank pages ranking above me.
If blackhat works perfectly in highly contested results, imagine the overall effect in the billions of non-contested results!
I recently allowed my site to be examined by SEOs and Google under a very bright light I can do that safely because 'I followed the guidelines'. Some of the people who are replacing me now, did not.
I will no longer consider their guidelines sacred, or useful. I think they're more 'What we wish for' rather than 'What we can achieve.' This is not bitterness, or resentment - it's the way I'll manage to survive from here on.
My guess is that other whitehat webmasters, will be affected by this soon. That is what the pattern suggests. They'll be here wondering why, just like the rest of us. Not cool, as they probably don't deserve it either.