Will, don't you think it was also stupid of John Chow to blatantly violate Google's Webmaster Guidelines and flaunt that in front of Google? He did not leave them much choice. They had to make an example out of him.
It order to beat an 800 pound gorilla you have to be at least a 900 pound gorilla. Relatively speaking, John Chow is probably a 100 pound gorilla. The only reason that he was able to get Matt Cutt's attention was because of his size and blog celebrity status. But he still probably had to bow and and kiss the back of Matt's hand.
Most of us are only 50 pound chimpanzees, and have no hope of beating Google. If you cannot beat them, you join them and play their game.
John will probably make a lot more money now that he is playing the Google game.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin