Last month, we reported that SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin issued a negative SEO challenge. He challenged people to take down SEOmoz or RandFishkin.com using negative SEO tactics.
“I’ve never seen it work on a truly clean, established site,” Fishkin told us at the time. He is confident enough in his sites' link profiles and reputation. He also said, "I’d rather they target me/us than someone else. We can take the hit and we can help publicize/reach the right folks if something does go wrong. Other targets probably wouldn’t be so lucky.”
We had a conversation with Fishkin today about the Penguin update, and about a new SEOmoz project related to webspam. We also asked for an update on how the challenge is going, and he said, "On the negative SEO front - I did notice that my personal blog had ~40,000 more links (from some very questionable new sources) as of last week. It's still ranking well, though!"
It sounds like the the challenge is working out so far, which certainly looks good on Google's part, especially in light of the Penguin update, and the opinions flying around about negative SEO. Just peruse any comment thread or discussion forum on the topic and there's a good chance you'll run into some of this discussion.
I'm guessing the challenge is still on the table, but so far, Fishkin doesn't seem top be having any problems.
Of course, most people don't have the link profile or reputation that Fishkin has established, but that also speaks to the need for content producers to work on building both.