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This 205 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 205 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 > >     
Possible Shift in Google-Webmasters Communication Policy!
Have Googlers stopped announcing updates and posting weather reports?

 7:00 am on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Folks,

I have noticed in recent months a remarkable shift in the way Google employees communicate with the webmasters communities.

For one reason or the other the Googlers have stopped posting weather reports about the new infrastructure. No more posts explaining critical changes on the serps. No more talking about specific DCs as they use to do. No more chat when it comes to Google serps and possible changes which are so clear and obvious to even novice webmasters. The only thing we have been hearing is the famous "Data Refresh".

Of course, one of the reasons for the shift in Google's communication policy mightbe the continuous trouble the Googles are into since the deploy of BigDaddy.. "if you have no good news..keep quite".

If its true that the Googlers have decided not to talk to us anymore about the serps, DCs and possible filters, algo changes and announcing possible updates. Do those same Googlers deserve to be invited anymore to the webmasters conferences and meetings, for example?

What will be the consequences of Google shift in Google-Webmasters communication policy?

Many thanks in advance for your contributions to the thread.



 10:19 am on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Folks

Back to the subject of this thread ;-)

While we have the attention of GG and Matt. Do you have any suggestions to improve Google-Webmasters communications?

Just to "inspire" you, I wish to mention one og the great things that Brett and GG had arranged in the past:

Questions for GoogleGuy [webmasterworld.com].

Some Q&A answers
GoogleGuy answers some questions from last week..



 12:36 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


Wow, you drew both googleguy and matt out on webmaster world.

Welcome back both.


 1:33 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can see how coming up with a better way for Google to communicate with webmasters is a huge challenge. There is only so much Google can say without giving out too much information that could be exploited for evil. Everyone thinks their own website(s) should rank on top. There are millions of webmasters and only so many people to answer questions at Google.

And I can see too how it is tough for Google to admit there is a problem since someone could try to sue them if their rankings plummeted and Google admitted something went wrong with a data refresh. (Whatever a data refresh is…)

With that said, scouring the threads here, other webmaster discussion forums, and Googler’s blogs doesn’t seem like a good way for me to learn about what happened to my site on June 27 and why some sites returned on July 27 while others did not.

No offense to anybody here as I think I have learned some things over the past month, but learning about what might have happened to my site from forums and blogs seems analogous to a teenager learning about the birds and the bees from their friends at school rather than a more official source. I just don’t know what to trust.

So coming back around to the question at hand, I think only Google can determine how to more effectively communicate with us. I think the sitemaps tool would be a good way to initiate communication. It already establishes some sort of proof that someone is the owner of a site and a user does not need to actually have a sitemap to use the service.

I would like to be able to use that interface to say to Google “why does my homepage no longer appear in a site:www.example.com query?” and get a response other than “our search results change regularly as we update our index”. I can’t believe that is really the complete answer.

I don’t remember the exact signup process for Sitemaps, so maybe this is already included, but I don’t recall signing an oath that I fully understand and will comply with the Google Webmaster Guidelines before allowing access to my sitemaps account. Sure an oath won’t keep someone evil from getting in, but perhaps it could be a step towards a tighter relationship between Google and webmasters.

I seem to recall Matt saying that spam reports filed from a sitemaps account could receive more “weight” than spam reports filed elsewhere on Google. Then perhaps questions initiated through a sitemaps account interface could be given more weight and answered from a higher source.

I’ve heard the term “trust rank” being thrown around in reference to pages, but how about “webmaster trust”. It seems like I ought to be able to lay all of my cards out on the table and show everything I’m doing to Google in exchange for more information to questions like the ones I've mentioned.


 2:52 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

re sitemaps.

In another thread someone mentioned that he she wanted to improve their rankings. Adam than answered that one shouldn't worry about ranking and do the best for the user.

While there is nothing wrong with doing the best for the user, I still would like to suggest to remove the ranking at least in sitemaps. It kinda implies that there is some criteria to improve. As no one knows anymore really what they are, besides some vague suggestions, having the ranking there in the sitemap is in my opinion counterproductive to what Google wants to achieve. A bit like a mark in school with the general comment: Yeah you have to be good and learn to get good marks, though with no information really what to learn.

So in short don't give rankings if you do not want people to worry about it. The SERPS will be a ranking anyway, but maybe it would be good to limit the display of rankings ie in sitemaps.

While I admire the effort G staff takes to actually communicate, unlike the Y and M people, isn't it actually futile if you don't operate with same empirical background? AKA G staff knows but can't say.

Oliver Henniges

 4:22 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Do you have any suggestions to improve Google-Webmasters communications?

Cooperation in the prospect of web 2.0?
How can we as webmasters implement the tools developed in the google-labs for the benefit of our visitors and vice versa give suggestions or new ideas to google for further improvement.

I guess anyone expecting insider-tipps from google employees concerning ranking algos is completely on the wrong track. The same holds true for expecting someone from inside google to admit "We made a mistake."

> It would be very interesting to have an overall vote of quality, from WebmasterWorld forum users, at the advent of each Google update / data push / disaster.

As I pointed out in the thread to which mattg3 refers, I believe that such a "voting" is already an important part of the ranking algos, drawn from analysis of tracking user behaviour. OK: It's not a vote from the oh so competent creme de la creme of the world's webmasters, but from the behaviour of the ordinary surfer.

Maybe something like: "Hey guys, we're currently testing some new algos on this or that DC; What do you think of it?" might be part of the communication, but don't expect much more.

I'd completely agree to trinorthlighting and phpdude. Google is responsible for search results, not justice nor mercy. That was someone else beginning with the same two letters. PLZ leave this pseudo-moral #*$! out of future posts and begin to take an adult look at google: It is a money-making company under the same market-constraints as most of us, and the guys working there are presumably doing the best they can, plus 10 %. It is a very,very fast growing company, and anyone who ever had more than two employees will know how difficult it is, to get along with that. This holds true for staff-recruitment, for bandwidth and capacity-issues, for the number of incoming mails, for the number of reinclusion requests, hacker attacks and so on and so on. That five billion-pages thing, for example, seems comparable to a dos-attack on any of our smaller websites. Are you sure you could have coped with such an attack in an acceptable time-span?


 4:40 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes I would and have since I do not go on 6 week vacations.


 4:42 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Google is responsible for search results, not justice nor mercy. That was someone else beginning with the same two letters. PLZ leave this pseudo-moral #*$! out of future posts and begin to take an adult look at google:"

That changed with the introduction of Adsense/Adwords. If they weren't interested in justice they wouldn't be settling a $90 million click fraud settlement. Go on thinking Google is just a "search engine".


 4:49 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Just to "inspire" you, I wish to mention one og the great things that Brett and GG had arranged in the past:"

This is supposed to inspire me? 2 threads from 2003 and 2005?


 4:58 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


"This is supposed to inspire me? 2 threads from 2003 and 2005?"

Its the method of communication and the rich content of the threads, which are supposed to inspire you. Not the age of the threads :-)


 5:11 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hmmm...the richness of content. Well since they have gone public that richness of content is absent. In the past year Google is the epitome of a company that talks a lot but says very little. The date of thread is very relevant as it shows the complete decline of public relations in this company as profits sore.

"Google said net income rose to $721.1 million, or $2.33 a share, from $342.8 million, or $1.19 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 77 percent to $2.46 billion. Excluding commissions paid to other Web sites, revenue rose to about $1.67 billion."

I would expect a company with such earnings to be able to actually HAVE some sort of public relations but even according to those who support them:

"What I am trying to say, if you email google 99% of the time you will not get a response."

...we get that.

Anyone actually thinking their support is adequate or public relations fits the bill of a multi-billion dollar company needs to put the pipe down and walk away. Their support as of now is an automated response or no answer, MC's blog or WebmasterWorld. All 3 will never give an adequate answer to the real problems. You get spin and vague responses. People are sick of it.

[edited by: gcc_llc at 5:12 pm (utc) on July 28, 2006]


 5:12 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


and your contribution to those wishing to be inspired is?.....

not your last two posts i take it...



 5:14 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Isn't is funny how traffic on WebmasterWorld has dramatically increased over the last 6 months.

..but there isn't a problem, its all in our heads or our sites are broken.


 5:15 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

" gcc_llc

and your contribution to those wishing to be inspired is?.....

not your last two posts i take it... "

And yours? I am speaking my mind while others imprint their lips on certain peoples backside.


 5:18 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

"It's not a vote from the oh so competent creme de la creme of the world's webmasters, but from the behaviour of the ordinary surfer"

The main problem with both of these user groups is that one has everything to gain from swaying the vote one way or the other and the other group couldn't care less about search results.

As I've said many times before, I think that search engines have nearly had their day. If I want to buy something nowadays I use my 3 regular suppliers and, of course ebay. No amount of great search results or clever cross marketing is going to change that.

Of course there is one way to get a consensus of opinion from the general public ... see how many are willing to pay for Google search results (I doubt you will see many long queues).

All the Best & Keep on Trucking

Col :-)


 5:28 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> site:example.com -www
>> I see multiple results not from example.com, but rather
>> example.com-1.garbage-spamming-doofus.com

That is because the site: operator is now working more like the old inurl: operator used to, and the inurl: operator is simply completely broken.

That is:

a site:domain.com search used to return any pages that ended with domain.com at the end of the domain part of the matching URLs. You could add folders like site:domain.com/myfolder to cut the results down, but as far as I am aware you couldn't do a site:www.domain search and get results, because in that query you had missed the right hand side of the domain URL off the end. The old site: search matched stuff directly to the left of the first / in the URL, and optionally after it too.

Now you can make a search like site:www.domain and it will return any URLs that have www.domain anywhere in the URL. The site: search is no longer matching the right hand side of the data, but now matches anywhere within it. It now works like you would expect inurl to work.

A site:domain.com -inurl:www, search should exclude www pages from the results, but now shows www pages that are supplemental. They broke the inurl operator too. There are several other ways that inurl now fails to return the expected results.

Oh, and for anyone still reading, queries with hyphens in the query string data have been broken for several months, and are still broken now.

[edited by: g1smd at 5:36 pm (utc) on July 28, 2006]


 5:36 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

gcc_llc, Why be so harsh about things? This thread is about communication, not flaring up and puffing your chest. In my opinion, your responses are only justifying the people you want to mock. Meaning that you griped, and right after you gripe Google guy comes on here, Matt shows up, and they start to OPEN the line of communication again.

While i can understand you are mad that your sites not doing well, it is really making it harder and harder for me to take you seriously when you wont let up. I am sorry if I got you upset with this, but is there anyway you can try and tone it down some so people can actually benefit from the thread? Please?


 5:40 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

As I've said many times before, I think that search engines have nearly had their day. If I want to buy something nowadays I use my 3 regular suppliers and, of course ebay. No amount of great search results or clever cross marketing is going to change that.

I thinks it's called global niche and people can on average remember a list of 8 sites.

Books/techno/DVD and anything else = Amazon
auctions = ebay
news = bbc or whatever is the thing in your country
knowledge = wikipedia
Video = Youtube

There will be some dilution with different languages and domains with general terms and hard to find terms and established offline busineses
but soon most people will know where they get their stuff from from a limited set of sites the rest will die.


 6:00 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


I'm not being harsh, I'm being honest. I really could care less if they post at all. They never really say much anymore.

I'm not the one telling people that its their sites that are broken. I'm not the one flaring my chest because I'm an "old timer". I am telling you what many people are afraid to say because they have some sort of fear to speak publically against Google. My sites aren't in the hopper, in fact they lost probably around 25% of its traffic. They are hanging in there and doing fine and will bounce back eventually.

This thread was started because there IS a problem. This thread didn't turn into me mocking people until the "old timer" wanted to come up with the same old "your site is broken" arguement. If he didn't open his mouth I would still be asking GG the same questions that still haven't been answered in this thread TRYING to communicate.

The this went downhill when people started to complain about the people complaining. Sorry, I'm not going hold my tongue when the question about their public relations has been asked. If its not PC enough for you, thats your problem. I'm not cursing anyone, I'm not implying other people are incompetent (as other do), I'm not beating my chest because I'm an "old timer". I am someone who is a member of a very large population of webmasters that are sick and tired of the spin and circular explanations that create more useless threads of speculation and never answre anything. If we actually got answers to some very basic questions, none of this would be here.


 6:03 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good thing I have tons of repeat visitors and my domains are being searched for direct now way more than ever during all this so called refresh havock. Hope I will always stay as a major in my niche.

As the googlers hinted, by the end of the summer they should be able to post more on subjects once they figure out what's going on too.

They are using summer slow down to impliment and tweek and work on bugs on live search. Can't google just do this on certain datacenters on non peek hours based on local time zones. As summer slow down hurts enough as it is;-)


 6:10 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I believe that many "old timers" here at webmasterworld are not even posting much on these Google threads lately because many are waiting it out because there is tons of proof out there that there IS many broken pieces with Google search right now.

Do use the time to check your sites and keep building and growing as original as possible.


 6:16 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

While I can certainly understand what you are trying to say, you seem to be implying that you are speaking for a lot of people. Let them talk and don't make it sound like if people disagree with what you are saying they are kissing a backside. Thats just not necessary for this kind of discussion.

I could care less about political correctness, what I care about is the information that i get from this message board so i can make more money. Nothing else.

You are beating your chest, and you are coming off like your not going to be happy until everyone agrees with your way of thinking on this. The fact is that everyone here has a different opinion and they are not flying off the handle and name calling people to the extent that you are.

I am really suprised that you are able to get away with some of the things your saying about people and it make me wonder why this is continuing. You can reply if you want to and thats your thing, but i am no longer going to reply about this with you.

Its a shame to say it, but if you looked at the things you are saying especially after they posted, you might have a better understanding why they are not communicating with you. I can say with 100% certainty, that I have had a problem in the past and one of those 2 people you are bashing has responded to my emails. Was i lucky, yes. Was it a canned response? No.


 6:16 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


If you want google to communicate to you directly, go buy their stock and go to the meetings. They only have to answer to users and shareholders, not a webmaster. Get that through your head.

Google can only communicate so much due to legal reasons. Realize that they do get sued by people whos rankings tank or who all the sudden get deindexed.

Its googles index, googles servers, and how and when google communicates is completely up to them, not you. If your really not that happy, go get a new job.


 6:22 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just one more thing to the Googlers, Did you think that this Big Daddy was going to be way more smooth and only affect legit sites after the last Christmas holiday when people were busy playing with their toys and paying off credit cards? Then now you give the excuse of summer slow down...cause you are finding that the bugs keep multiplying?


 6:26 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


Get this through your head. It is Google who has stated publically they hired someone for this exact purpose. Where did I say I expect them to answer to anyone? Where did I demand answers? I am stating the how people feel about their communucation. If they don't want to communciate, say so and I won't complain. At least then I have a solid answer.

You do notihng but mock people who are trying to get answers. You do nothing but state the obvious like the rest of the webmaster community is inferior to your "old time" status. You do nothing to add to this discussion but tell everyone else why they are wrong in what they think. We don't care what you say, We don't care that you are an old timer, we don't care how many sites or employee's you have.


 6:27 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


When and how google planned to roll out big daddy was up to them, if you look at the whole process it was a 6 month process. Their decision of timing was probally due more to server assets and when they had them. I am sure it was a very complicated process but overall it helps their server speeds out. It just was not search they upgraded but a lot of other services came online and were intergraded as well.

As far as google being broken, actually I would say that they are a lot better off than yahoo and msn. My take, every search engine is broke in some means. Every search engine has spam to deal with and its a constant battle.


 6:34 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


I don't speak for a lot people, I reflect the general feeling of a lot of people on various forums/blogs that still don't get any real answers as to why sites disappear, go supplemental, drop in the SERPS for no reason.

I don't really care what you think is necessary because the truth is a lot of people do nothing BUT kiss the backside of GG and MC. Truth hurts sometimes.

I don't care if people agree with me. I don't care if you are thinking I am beating my chest. If speaking my mind is beating my chest, then I will continue to do so.

What have I said that is so offensive? The truth? People kiss some serious backside around here? That I could care less about an "old timer"? Yeah lets just hide it and pretend its not there.

I don't care if they don't communicate with me. They never have anyway. If I am polite I will get a nice, PC answer that tells me nothing. If I am blunt I get nothing. In the end its still NOTHING.

Webmasters are still left without answers.


 6:35 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

hey GCC you had posted that you were hardly affected by the so calles data-refreshes lately. Maybe you could go back to many of these Google posts and compare and share how you think why you are not being affected?


 6:39 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


My sites lost about 25% of their previous traffic. What did I do? Nothing. Thats the problem. People did nothing and were penalized and don't know why.


 6:42 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did you loose any really popular 2 word phrases while many of the rest stay the same?


 6:45 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


We never implied you did something wrong, someone else could have via a worm or a virus. That is why I said check your sites throughly, if you pay attention, worms do not only effect emails, they effect and crash websites. But, if your to lazy to check your site, you will never know.


 6:46 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't care if they don't communicate with me. They never have anyway. If I am polite I will get a nice, PC answer that tells me nothing. If I am blunt I get nothing. In the end its still NOTHING.

Would you listen if they did communicate with you? And if you were in their position, would you communicate with someone who's wearing an "I'm hostile, so f--- you" t-shirt?

This 205 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 205 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 > >
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