Earlier this summer I had the chance to interview (by phone) Maile Ohye Senior Support Engineer at Google. Maile’s role is to support users and webmasters, but also to implement changes in Google’s code with feedback from users like you. The podcast of my interview has just gone live this week.
Maile was forthcoming about Google’s “new” (i.e. expanded) Webmaster Guidelines. She explained that, in a lot of cases, webmasters don’t necessarily have a good understanding of what SEO is, and don’t know when they are doing something that violates their guidelines. Gray/black hat discussions like “cloaking” and “doorway” pages are covered within the new guidelines, which is great for big and small SEO shops, too, that may interpret those terms differently.
Maile and I had a geeky discussion about cloaking, session IDs, Flash, progressive enhancement, noscript, sitemaps, rel=nofollow, and paid links. In the end, Maile reaffirmed Google’s desire to put users first.
More highlights on my interview here.