Google might have better anti-spamming filters than Yahoo!. PageRank is designed to attempt to rank webpages by usefulness by looking at their backlinks. But this only works if the backlinks are organically generated, not if you purchased them or otherwise create them yourself (e.g. ads, link exchanges, link wheels, blog spamming/content spamming, etc.).
Unfortunately, a lot of unethical webmasters don't care about this and try to game the system. This has resulted in a drop in the quality of search results on all major search engines.
However, Google has been fighting back in several ways, including by analyzing how backlinks are generated. If a new site goes from having zero backlinks to having 10,000 in a single week, and there doesn't seem to be any pattern to the backlinks generated aside from their being on blogs that allow comments, then that's certainly going to raise some red flags.
It's also going to be suspicious if a site develops tens of thousands of backlinks from easily forged/manufactured sources (low PR sites, blog comments, forums, etc.), and yet they fail to gain any backlinks from reputable sites.
In short, if all your external backlinks are created by you by spamming blogs/forums/social media sites/etc., then those backlinks really aren't an indication of quality content or usefulness. So Google isn't going to be motivated to rank your site highly using those backlinks. In fact, it's an incentive for Google to penalize your site for blackhat practices.
Also, the same applies to blogs and similar sites that don't protect their user comments with nofollow anchor attributes. If Google sees a blog that has thousands of backlinks to completely random sites, and most of the linked-to sites are spam sites, then they're going to devalue that blog's links. So being the 100th webmaster to spam an unprotected blog isn't going to do much good.