This may be the first time Michael and I agree 100% on something... I mean... one time he even refused to acknowledge the moral superiority of bacon vs. all other foods... but...
Yeah. What Michael said. And I mean every word. Yes. Exactly that. All of it.
Organic referrals from Google are up 8.95% during the 4 weeks since they started this, vs. the prior 4 weeks. They managed to drive my site all the way up to page 1 for [seo] and then claimed they successfully knocked it down, even though it's still higher than it ever was before.
It was interesting that it only took 3-4 days for Google to start discounting the spam links and drop the ranking for [seo] back down.
It is surprising that the site hasn't had Panda problems or something, given that it's been half-broken for 3 months. But the shift on [seo book] is the *only* query I can find the site trending down against, and I have "reproduced" that effect several times by making similar changes.
[seo book], by the way, is a navigational query that is at least 90% directed at finding Aaron Wall. (These things can be measured with money and time...)
He's referring to a case study published on a link spam forum. The case study documents an experiment that is so sloppy and poorly defined that there is no value in discussing these claims and allegations.
Negative SEO has been around for a long time. Google's recent Webmaster Tools notifications don't make it any more meaningful than in the past, except as a scare factor (which is a point Dan Thies makes in the comments on that blog post).
So Google is not making a liar out of anyone. Rather, people who have not learned how to be scientific about SEO after years of publishing ridiculous rants are continuing to rant and rave without making any real sense. It's sad that so many real SEOs are giving this poison link campaign any real attention at all.