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Would you pay for Google support?
Paid Google support
Whitey




msg:770713
 3:19 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

To receive support for critical webmaster issues, which need Google inputs, would you be prepared to pay a fee for an acknowledged, personalised and professional response?

 

fourchette




msg:770743
 6:23 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can't think of many other businesses who get their supplies for nothing and make $27bn out of it! :)

-forests
-water
-hummm coal...
- other generic natural ressource...

I'm from québec and I can tell you that business that had their primary ressource free have been the backbone of the whole canadian economy in the 19 th century...And you would have to look at south america and africa for modern examples of that so called "business model" of land raping without paying a dime...

Ok they may or may not have made 27bn with it...

;-)

Reno




msg:770744
 6:53 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do not expect Google to tell me how to rise higher in rankings, however I would gladly pay to be warned in advance if they were going to DROP my pagerank significantly, due to perceived incongruities in one or more of my pages.

And even then, I would not expect them to say something as specific as: "You have a problem with bad linking on line 97 of page4.html". Rather, all I'd ask is a general indication of what problem they see -- I'll take it from there.

As we have been discussing down in the GOOG forum -- fair warning and the opportunity to set things right is my one & only request, so yes, I would pay a reasonable fee to get that.

..........................................

europeforvisitors




msg:770745
 6:55 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sorry, you didn't imply it, you stated it as fact: "...favor commerce over information, and that would lead to poorer search results for users". Why is it that more commercial sites in SERPs automatically means lower quality?

First, I didn't say "more commercial sites in SERPs," I said "favor commerce over information." That would lead to poorer search results because, instead of being "organic," the search results would be skewed toward sites that hire SEO firms.

But you are not saying why you are against it even if it's going to improve the SERPs for users?

Paid support wouldn't improve SERPs for users. It would simply make it easier for SEO firms and their clients to play closer to the edge and retreat when warned by Google that they'd stuck their feet over the precipice.

Still, you're welcome to disagree. I personally don't think it's likely that Google will ever introduce paid support, but I'll eat those words if I'm proven wrong.

fourchette




msg:770746
 7:07 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

That would lead to poorer search results because, instead of being "organic," the search results would be skewed toward sites that hire SEO firms.

How is it possible to think that results gained by SEO companies are not organic EFV? Because they didn't come naturally? What is nature? What is natural?

Natural means nothing, as google is no longer an observator of the internet, but a huge motor behind it...This if google is part of the natural world, wanting to rank in google is also natural right?

The times where web pages were only built as hobby sites is over, so I would tend to consider that everything is 'organic' as there is only one level of reality, the ontological one...

Anything that happens on the internet is organic, even paid listings ;)

Why is it organic/natural? It is because wanting to make money from google listings is 'natural' (because google can help you make money, naturally...)

Thus, wanting to make money and have better positions IS natural, as in the natural world of today, having better positions means having more money in it's pockets.

Anyway, just a thought about natural and un-natural order of things, in the natural and organic virtual internet life ;)

tedster




msg:770747
 7:08 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

As some of you may know, Google began a test program last year of notifying some webmasters and/or site owners when their site is about to be penalized.

The biggest issue here for webmasters is that for it to be possible to get a warning, Google must be able to find your email address. Anonymized whois information and no contact information on the site means Google mightl make a guess or two (webmaster@example.com and so on) -- but if you are trying to be invisible, then you can't benefit.

This pilot program is a sign that Google does understand the need for the kind of feedback we're discussing here. Doing it well will involve a major scaling problem, I can imagine.

Miop




msg:770748
 7:19 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can't think of many other businesses who get their supplies for nothing and make $27bn out of it! :)

-forests
-water
-hummm coal...
- other generic natural ressource...

I'm from québec and I can tell you that business that had their primary ressource free have been the backbone of the whole canadian economy in the 19 th century...And you would have to look at south america and africa for modern examples of that so called "business model" of land raping without paying a dime...

Ok they may or may not have made 27bn with it...

;-)

But those resources were unclaimed by anybody, and a naturally occurring product, not a man-made one!

[edited by: tedster at 7:22 pm (utc) on Mar. 20, 2006]
[edit reason] place quote in box [/edit]

Reno




msg:770749
 7:25 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

The biggest issue here for webmasters is that for it to be possible to get a warning, Google must be able to find your email address.

My suggestion in the GOOG forum thread is for Google to tie this information into their sitemap.xml control panel program. In that manner they can easily notify any participating site owner, without even needing to send an email.

Having said that, the sitemap.xml approach does not preclude them from ALSO attempting to make contact via email. It does not need to be "either/or" -- it can be both.

Another suggestion -- is there a way for Google to have siteowners put an alpha-numeric code in a custom meta tag on the index.html page, with that numeric code pointing to a registered email address with Google?

Example:

meta name="google contact" content="9a7f9003ek89445"

In Google's records, 9a7f9003ek89445 == me@mysite.com

Google can make contact as required, and it would be up to each siteowner to keep that info up-to-date.

Just throwing out ideas here....

..............................

oddsod




msg:770750
 7:35 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Paid support wouldn't improve SERPs for users.

If a search engine relies on two distinct sectors for it's results, and if one of those sectors improves, isn't it the case that the overall results are better?

EFV, did an SEO company steal your first born? :)

europeforvisitors




msg:770751
 8:32 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

As some of you may know, Google began a test program last year of notifying some webmasters and/or site owners when their site is about to be penalized.

True, but if I recall correctly, Googleguy or Matt Cutts (are they one and the same?) suggested that the program was designed to alert otherwise worthy sites that might have "SEO issues" (my words, not Google's). There's obviously no way to know Google's motivations in launching the program, but it could have been designed to protect legitimate sites from the shenanigans of overzealous employees or SEO consultants.

I don't think Google Search will offer paid support for a number of reasons, one being the legal liability that could result from having business relationships with Web sites and their SEO firms. There's probably no great risk in telling a site owner, "You've got a problem with duplication of www and non-www URLs that you can fix with an entry in your .htaccess file." But what happens when the situation involves something like "Our algorithm just boosted your spam score into the red zone because of factors A, B, C, and D on your site?" Could Google get away with telling paying customers, "You've got SEO issues that you need to fix" without being more specific and helping spammers to reverse-engineer its procedures? Could a paying customer sue successfully to get full value from its paid-support subscription?

I can think of a solution that might work better all around: Independent "SEO auditors" who would do site analyses (not unlike the entertaining analyses that we see on Matt Cutts's blog) to protect businesses from optimizers--both professionals and amateurs--who use risky practices like hidden text, cloaking, doorway pages, questionable linking schemes, etc. After all, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and I personally know of companies whose employees or Web-design firms have used some really stupid SEO tricks--presumably after reading the e-book equivalent of "SEO for Dummies, 1998 edition."

Whitey




msg:770752
 9:25 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)


My suggestion in the GOOG forum thread is for Google to tie this information into their sitemap.xml control panel program. In that manner they can easily notify any participating site owner, without even needing to send an email.
Having said that, the sitemap.xml approach does not preclude them from ALSO attempting to make contact via email. It does not need to be "either/or" -- it can be both

Sounds like a good way to operate it, communicate and encourage everyone to go though a QC procedure at the same time

Whitey




msg:770753
 9:28 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

As some of you may know, Google began a test program last year of notifying some webmasters and/or site owners when their site is about to be penalized.

This pilot program is a sign that Google does understand the need for the kind of feedback we're discussing here. Doing it well will involve a major scaling problem, I can imagine.

Tedster - have we got any news on how this is going? This sounds like a good starting point.

tedster




msg:770754
 10:46 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

We've had three posts in this forum from people who got the Google note -- some were wondering if it was legitimate! One person posted that tthey managed to make the site changes before the penalties were levied and completely avoided any drop in traffic.

Whitey




msg:770755
 11:03 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tedster - Did anyone from Google comment on this or the idea?

Rollo




msg:770756
 12:37 am on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not if it's anything like Godaddy support, Dell support, etc. If it's some dude who needs to look up everything in a manual or put you on hold endless times to ask their supervisor about what should be simple issues, er, not. If it's a Matt Cutts-esque character at the other end of the line, absolutely.

tedster




msg:770757
 12:50 am on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did anyone from Google comment on this

Yes, Matt Cutts mentioned it at Las Vegas PubCon last November.

Whitey




msg:770758
 1:57 am on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tedster - OK thanks - I posted a message on his blog to see if this idea has grown any legs, especially with the latest difficulties in mind, regarding Supps.

Whitey




msg:770759
 2:10 am on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not if it's anything like Godaddy support, Dell support, etc. If it's some dude who needs to look up everything in a manual or put you on hold endless times to ask their supervisor about what should be simple issues, er, not.

I think the inference is that the existing Google support falls way short of professional support -yep in line with Dell , GoDaddy , Microsoft - but at least in the latter case of MS they communicate and refund your money if you end out teaching the operator! I think Google has a framework through Google sitemaps to make this work better though, per the previous suggestion by Reno.

I mean, you get mostly people that know what they're doing there and paying for support time seems logical and it could benefit Google in building a superior product advantage through a community knowledge base [ they probably have it - but it might be improved this way ]

np2003




msg:770760
 11:50 pm on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

yes i'd pay

HiltonHead




msg:770761
 2:18 pm on Mar 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

To receive support for critical webmaster issues, which need Google inputs, would you be prepared to pay a fee for an acknowledged, personalised and professional response?

No! Google should be a full service public company

Whitey




msg:770762
 10:50 pm on Mar 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

HiltonHead - Can you clarify

a full service public company

are you saying they should provide it all for free to webmasters?

I can't help thinking that unless you have the corporate stature of the likes of BMW in their recent "Black Hat SEO" episode and the subsequent clarification and re instatement , Google's not going to pay for the time to listen unless it is funded.

At least with a paid service for reasonable things with honest webmasters seeking to work within the webmaster guidelines there's the possibility of this working. Accessed via sitemaps kinda sounds good because at least there people are being encouraged to communicate via a professional process with people who are more understanding [ ie SEO's on behalf of their clients ]

300m




msg:770763
 11:13 pm on Mar 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Maybe a couple of support options.

1) Free Support (Long hold times etc)
2) Frontline support that is paid for.

Me personally, I would pay in a heartbeat. Regardless of the cost. When you consider the potential revenue that can be made from google search, prority support could get the answers quicker and also make google a lot of money because I am sure if they offered it, someone is going to pay...

dodger




msg:770764
 11:30 pm on Mar 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

To receive support for critical webmaster issues, which need Google inputs, would you be prepared to pay a fee for an acknowledged, personalised and professional response?

This is absolutely the way to go.

Whitey




msg:770765
 11:52 pm on Mar 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts mentioned it at Las Vegas PubCon last November

Tedster - has anyone heard back from Matt on this one or is anyone able to follow up where they're up to it.

I mean it would be great thing if Google could provide the sort of democratic support for honest intentions by webmasters seekign to comply with Google's webmaster guidelines , that they did to help BMW - get back on track. I think it would be a win/win for everyone.

dodger




msg:770766
 12:07 am on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

The support would have to be limited to "are you in breach of the guidlines" otherwise everyone would drive them crazy asking "how do I get to the top of the SERP's"

Like a site audit - result - yes, you're ok or no, you're not and here's why - that would be sufficient.

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