engine - 8:27 pm on Feb 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
Matt Cutts: "chase after your best interpretation of what users want" [nytimes.com]
Because Google is many Internet users’ front door to the Web, S.E.O. has become an obsession for many Web publishers, and successful ones use the strategies to varying degrees. But as newspapers, magazines, blogs and online-only news sites increasingly compete for readers, they are making it more of a priority than ever and adopting new techniques, like trying to maximize pass-alongs on social networks.
Google blocks or penalizes sites that violate its guidelines, like including hidden text or loading up pages with irrelevant keywords, practices known as black hat S.E.O. (as opposed to the white hat variety). But Mr. Cutts acknowledged that some sites might not qualify as spam but could still annoy users.
“One piece of advice I give to S.E.O. masters is, don’t chase after Google’s algorithm, chase after your best interpretation of what users want, because that’s what Google’s chasing after,” he said.