In 2009 there are loads of strategies that we expected to stop working in 2006, then again in 2007 and certainly in 2008. The problem is that most of them still seem to be working.
Of all the things Google could fix I would have expected this to be the first. What happens is that SEO companies use link spam and networks of sites to get top rankings for keywords that send them customers.
Customers assume the company must be good at SEO and hire them to work on their sites. The SEO company uses spam to promote their clients and links back to their site from all their clients and gets even higher rankings.
If Google was to just start banning dodgy SEO companies then clients wouldn’t find them and the whole industry would clean up in months. Few clients are going to hire an SEO company that’s been banned from Google.
My question is, why don’t Google ban these sites? Of all the search results that should be manually edited I think SEO related ones are top of the list.