Causality, splogging and speculation

Here is a common issue for anyone involved in SEO or Google-watching, and I suppose in many other areas as well.

You take an action X. Event Y follows. You can build a plausible hypothesis for a connection between X and Y. X therefore caused Y.

The SEO version of this goes: you released new feature/code tweak/section on your website. Traffic went up the following week. New feature was a success! 

My latest version of this runs as follows: I experimented with some splogging on another blog (the relationship with this one is not disguised: they are cross-linked and hosted on the same account). I created a number of automatic posts using RSS-generated content about Google, ensuring that every time the word “search” appeared in the posts, it linked to the home page of this site. Before I did this, the home page of this site was #5 or #6 on Google, which it had been for a while. Today it is #20. So it might be very easy to jump to the conclusion that Google has spotted my nefarious tactics, and has penalised my site. 

Is that a reasonable conclusion based on the evidence?

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