Googlers know they have to be very careful what they say in public forums when I am watching. In a recent Google Webmasters Help thread, Googler, JohnMu replied to a thread, and I am going to beat him up for his response. Before I do so, let me say that John has provided so much value to the forums and to webmasters, that I admit, he does not deserve this, but I know Googlers have thick skin.
The Google Webmasters Help thread was complaining that Google was ranking his site well for a keyword phrase, but the page Google returned was not the page that best suits the searcher for that query. He asked why doesn't Google show the page that is the best result from his site for that query.
From the looks of it, there are some SEO issues with the site that might explain why this is happening. But John's response is what I felt was a bit non-Google like. Let me quote him:
As long as users are coming to your site because they're finding it in the search results, I wouldn't worry about the actual page they're landing on. If they come in and read your content (regardless of whether it's the page where just one post is or if it's your homepage), I think you've pretty much won the first part. They made it to your site. The actual URL shouldn't really matter too much.
Really John? So if they even land on the home page, but there is a better internal page about the query, shouldn't Google show that? Relevancy is key. Now, in this case, there may be SEO issues or relevancy is in the eye of the searcher, so who is anyone to say page A is more relevant than page B. But to say landing on the site is good enough, I am not too sure about that.
Striving for the actual URL is key. Usability consultants know this all too well. I assume landing on the best page possible would lead to higher conversions. I assume it would also make for a happier searcher.
I am not done beating up one of Google's most helpful Googlers.
Forum discussion at Google Webmasters Help.