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You definately raise some valid points. I am just lucky/happy that I put all my eggs in the Google basket. The large commercial site that I helped build and now maintain was tweaked a year ago so that it works well with the Google algo. It is perfectly clean and Google seems to love it. I focus my energies now on adding content and tracking which keywords that the viewing public are using for the products we sell.
It has been written in this forumn many times that a clean, content rich site is great food for the Googlebot. If you try to get to fancy or build a spammy site you will get nailed sooner or later.
As for free hosting.... well what can I say. It is real easy to abuse them by creating all kinds of doorway pages at a very lost cost.
Link farms were created to spam SE's so I do not have sympathy for those who built them.
I've nothing against Google, but it is a business. It will (when it controls the SE market) be in a position to charge for commercial listings like nothing you have seen before!
What will you say then?
Me - I'm all for it - the sooner the better :)