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great sites with loyal users that survive Panda, only to be annihilated when Penguin ran because their link profile was 75% to 100% manipulative
Google is trying to help webmasters by telling them the links they are getting have no value and to stop wasting your time and money on them.Helping by penalizing - makes no sense.
you don't need links any more, you need advertising and a great user experience
I personally would only spend money trying to appear in ads that were relevant to my business