Our site is penalized. We asked Google to remove it and they sent us a bunch of links that caused them. All these links were sites with wordpress theme footer links that trace back to a site offering free wordpress themes. We did not set them up, and we know our competitor did this. We told Google webspam team about this and they don't care.
What happens now? I never realized this, but Google is supporting the uprising of the negative SEO industry. Any company can harm someone else by creating free themes and templates and putting their links on the bottom footer.
Does this mean the only way forward is just to run negative SEO campaigns against my competitor?