Between Google’s latest round of penalties, and Matt Cutts’ new outspoken stance on guest blogging for the sake of link-building, many SEOs have been spooked to the point of actually refusing voluntary, natural links. Companies are asking hobby bloggers to remove links, or at least embed nofollows on them. This is defeating the purpose of Google’s actions against unnatural link building.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with accepting links from hobby bloggers who happen to think your company retail site is Aces in the particular subject they blog on. In fact, this is why inbound links became such an integral part of SEO to begin with: Google decided that links like these would count as “votes.” Unfortunately, this led SEO to largely became a game of seeing who could “buy” or “negotiate” the most, largest, and most relevant votes. Google’s algorithmic updates, manual penalties, and Matt Cutts’ warnings have addressed the manipulative voting schemes, not the traditional and voluntary voting (linking).