I want to come back to what he wrote on and support his story.
In today’s Google agorithm, a lot of links gained in a short period of time is like a death trap. Google’s filters on gaining links (in a short period of time too) was a pretty mild one in the past, but now it’s a killer.
Take a look at the Information retrieval based on historical data patent filled by Google in March 2005:
 Consider the example of a document with an inception date of yesterday that is referenced by 10 back links. This document may be scored higher by search engine 125 than a document with an inception date of 10 years ago that is referenced by 100 back links because the rate of link growth for the former is relatively higher than the latter. While a spiky rate of growth in the number of back links may be a factor used by search engine 125 to score documents, it may also signal an attempt to spam search engine 125. Accordingly, in this situation, search engine 125 may actually lower the score of a document(s) to reduce the effect of spamming.
Google must really enforce this particular filter/penalization in 2006 much more than he did in the past. It’s only natural. Google doesn’t like SEOers and with the recent Adwords landing page filters and other critical changes to prevent fraud and SERP cheating, I think it will only get much harder (to rank easily).
I used to have about 10.000 referers per month from Google, 1-2 months ago. No I have about 50 per month. Because I gained tens of thousands of links towards my site for a Shomoney contest, in the past, from the Digitalpoint Co-op and hundreds of other websites.
I’m not talking about gaining a high number of links only in a short period of time, but in longer periods too.
You first launch your website right ? Go ahead and submit that website to some directories (no more than 5-10 directories per day. Here are some web directory lists.
After that, my advice is to stick on gaining unique, natural, quality links from established websites, even if they come one per month. I have websites that gained 1-2 links per month, from quality websites (like TechCrunch and others) and who amazingly ranked very high from week 1, never entered the sandbox, and today after 1 year, are on the very top of their niche, in the SERPS, altough they have only a few dozen/hundred incoming links (but from medium to high important websites).
Based on what Andy said, I can tell you that I would take (any day) 40 IBLs from quality websites (I am not talking about Pagerank here; by quality websites I mean Trustrank), rather than 10.000 IBLs from low quality sources any day.
As I said before, site-wide links are also a very bad thing. Don’t do site-wides. Refuse them.
In the past I also wrote some tips on links building. Go ahead and read some.
The best marketed websites are the ones who gain natural links, trough the quality of the content, viral campaigns and so on.