canuckseo - 4:49 pm on Sep 13, 2013 (gmt 0)
Sorry but I don't buy it - to me it's a ploy by Google to see if you are a) participating in link schemes (they suspect but can't prove) and b) when you do comply they use the links you removed to go after other suspects.
I see the long play here - Google wants to crack down on link vendors because they know that link pop is still important and there really isn't another decent measure of quality. That or pagerank is so ingrained in their ranking algo that they can't take it out (remove the sparkplugs and the machine doesn't start).
So what Google could be doing (and it makes more sense to me) is trying to weed out the link sellers by penalizing the link buyers. That's the only explanation that makes sense to me because there's enough PhD's on staff there to figure out just how to disqualify a questionable link without human intervention (ie disavowing links)