Ian Scott recently had an interesting conversation going in comment form with Ross Goldberg. It was in regard to a review Ian had written on a Warrior Forum product (they call them WSO's - short for Warrior Special Offer) that Ross had been involved in producing.
Interestingly, Ian couldn't recommend the product outright although he did write that if you wanted to buy it, you should do some research before implementing some of the methods that are in the course.
Not everything in the course is controversial, of course - but SEO these days has changed considerably since Google introduced their Penguin update. The Panda update also had some major effects on rankings for some websites, but Penguin really pushed things along where even high quality websites were, in some cases, obliterated from Google's SERP's.
The jury is still out on what might be the most effective way to get rankings back for sites that were Penguin slapped. There are some in the business who believe this update was all about back link profiles while others are just as adamant that it has all to do with onsite quality issues. Personally, I've seen a combination of factors, and I wouldn't even be surprised if Google added some "randomization" to their algorithmic update just to keep people guessing.
I'm still seeing some pretty crappy websites being ranked with low quality content (although some of these have been weeded out, but not all), while others that have excellent back link profiles and are quite aged (we're talking ten plus years old) get hit by the Penguin. I've also seen some recovery with looking at and removing on-site over optimization - and that's all we did. In some cases, diversifying back links including anchor text has helped with other sites.
And then there are some sites where nothing seems to help a site rank for anything important, at least going by what some of the website owners claim in a variety of forums where such discussions take place.
Some folk are claiming that SEO is dead after Penguin. I chuckle at that - some people have been claiming that for over a decade! Search Engine Optimization in some for or other will always be important, and as Ross advises, testing all the time is important. If you're interested to know about the course he was involved in, you can read about it here (and no, that is not an affiliate link).
Was your site affected by Google's Penguin update? If so, what have you tried to do if anything to get it back or are you looking at other ways to generate traffic?