At times, I meet this scenario. I go to a client of mine, and I tell him that he/she does something wrong. He looks, surprised, back at me, and he/she tells me that within the company Google’s rules are strictly followed, and this is common practice – there’s nothing wrong with this practice. I go on to explain that Google changes, it’s not the same, as time passes. Unfortunately, if you go to Google.com to search for things, you get various articles, with various dates. And what was valid in 2008 is not valid in 2014. And what was valid in 2012 in Romania is not valid in 2014 in Romania. Even some of my own articles are so out-dated that, even though they have a warning right at the top, they might still lead people into potentially dangerous measures. “You are doing something which is wrong!” “No, it isn’t, I abide by Google’s best practices!” “Which version of Google are you referring to?”
I have seen other examples, in which people have tried doing “SEO” based on old practices. Yes, at various times it was OK to do keyword stuffing, have a network of other sites linking to you, get links from web directories, and so on. But these things don’t apply to today’s Google.
Note: Also see the Yahoo! Group on which I present similar issues: IMRo. To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org and reply to the confirmation email.