Here is the problem: Google wants you to believe that inbound links to your website cannot really get you penalized. I believe they can. I have seen websites getting penalized many times by getting a lot of automated links, not varying anchor texts and simply building thousands of links in one day (if it is a new website).
A lot of SEO “experts” believe that the worst thing an incoming link can do for you is to provide your website with no link juice. While this is true, lots of junky or automated links will be sure to get you penalized.
Aaron Wall of SEO Book has many times said that a natural looking link-building profile works best to get you higher rankings. Why? Because if you go for an un-natural backlink profile, you will get penalized.
Normally you can get penalized in different ways. The worst which has happened to me personally is that one of my websites now shows up as result #900 for its keyword term. I must admit that I was not really careful while building lots of junky links to it without changing the anchor text, and this is what happened. But to be honest, I never thought about using that website long-term and was only experimenting on how I can achieve higher rankings really quick.
Also, I have many times seen my rankings decrease sharply, only to change the inbound link anchor text and see my rankings come back up in 2-3 weeks. This can only certify that Google hates automated, junky links which use roughly the same anchor texts.
Lessons from this post:
1. No matter who tells you otherwise, if you get the wrong links in the wrong way, it will get you penalized.
2. You should always vary your anchor text, but not to the point that it looks stupid.
3. Although you do not get penalized for building 100 links a day, if you build 10,000 links a day on a very new website, expect it to be trashed.
4. Stay under the Google radar when you are link building for a very new website.
5. Junky links pass no link juice, look very much automated and dramatically inflate your link popularity which causes you to appear on Google’s radar. Bad news.