You may have heard some news reports of the outspoken owners of Rap Genius "working with Google" after their recent smackdown. It turns out this rap lyrics website was using very nefarious techniques to take advantage of - among others - timely Justin Bieber searches. They claim that the entire "lyrics market" is corrupt and using such techniques, and they were unfairly singled out.
They may have a point in one respect: Google holds all of the cards. If Google singles your company out - fairly or not - the impact is huge. That said, this excuse is really weak, obviously. "Everyone else is doing it" didn't work with mom, and it isn't going to work with Google's search spam-fighters.
You can read much more about this particular situation on TechCrunch (and other news sources: Google Destroys Rap Genius’ Search Rankings As Punishment For SEO Spam, But Resolution In Progress
You can also see for yourself the current impact on Rap Genius: Google Search for "Rap Genius"
In the fast-paced run-down of 200 Google SEO points I did last week, time and time again I came back to: Google can change the rules at any time.