TheOptimizationIdiot - 2:38 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)
I'm sure it's been answered at point: But, why? If the high-ranking sites are quality, why does Google care so much that they combat these SEO firms?
It's not about combating SEO firms specifically. (I think that's a bit over-played by SEO firms) It's more about combating manipulation of the results, because if you can manipulate them for a high-quality site, then you could manipulate them to spam, so they kind of have to try and block it for any type of manipulation.
Therefore, a site can have spammy stuff on the page but rank well because of good visitor behaviour. Perhaps the site you are looking at looks spammy, but it still provides the information required and your average surfer likes it. As someone who knows a lot about the subject of the website, you may think it is terrible, but many thousands of less informed people may accept it as good. Also, maybe there are a few very high quality back links which could make a big difference.
It sounds like you've seen eHow! lol