Arhg! It's articles like this one at WebProNews which really annoy me. In some ways it's better than many WebProNews articles because it's not full of grammatical and spelling errors (which are fine in a blog but not in a professional publication). That said, this is still a dangerous piece of twaddle; rumour and speculation are presented as absolute truth and fact.
In this article the author states that Google punishes you if you buy text link links. Your competitors can go out and buy text links "on your behalf" to get you punished.
I wonder how he can square it against Matt Cutt's own explanation of Google's views and actions. It's the link selling site which is effected once Google cracks down. Google removes that site's ability to pass PageRank on. Sure, if you had text links from a site which suddenly lost it's ability to vote for you then you will take a dip in the SERPs. That's not quite the same thing as your own site being punished.
That said there is a time when a competitor could cause you trouble by buying you links; when your site is brand new. That is likely to cause your site to stand out (it'll be an outlier) and your site is much more likely to what the SEO industry has coined the sandbox effect.
Arhg! Do you know what currently comes top for that sandbox effect Google search? You guessed it - some useless speculation about what the Sandbox Effect is on WebProNews.
I have a small confession to make though. The other weekend I wrote an article for WebProNews about Search Commands. Nothing dramatic. The old joke about the Med, the broken Convert command, etc... it's not appeared. Guess I wasn't sexy or speculative enough to cut the harsh and very strict WebProNews editorial rules!