McMohan - 10:46 am on Feb 17, 2011 (gmt 0) [edited by: McMohan at 11:16 am (utc) on Feb 17, 2011]
Well, shall I try an analogy?
Google > Tennis Match
Website > Tennis Player
Valid HTML > Proper Tennis Apparel
An Inbound Link > An hour spent at practice
Useful Content > Talent
To me, valid HTML is something that is expected of a website, just as proper apparel for a match is expected of a player. If you wear soccer jersey instead, you might still win the game, but you may or may not be allowed to play the game, depending on the organizers. Google allows. But, if you wear a tuxedo for the game (read broken links, etc), you might lose the game.
Added: For me, wearing proper apparel wouldn't be a strategy, a protocol, but practicing an extra hour is a strategy.
[edited by: McMohan at 11:16 am (utc) on Feb 17, 2011]