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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.



 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?


 6:47 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."

This is actually a bunch of bull. No the don't HAVE to communicate with webmasters BUT it is the webmaster is what keeps them in business -- get that through your head. Imagine a scenerio where webmasters literally stop feeding google their content. Just as in shareholders upset with company profits. We are also the ones who feed the google product. Yes Google has a huge marketshare and the likelyhood of this happening is nil but in the search busines they have to tread careful waters especially with webmasters. Trends start with us. Alta Vista was once top dog. They are pretty much out of the picture now. The same can happen with the big G.

Another way we feed google is financially through our use of advertising. Keep in mind that those who ride on free seach listing and make money from those listings will in turn feed Google through advertising.

It is not a win win situation you propose. 3 parties must win. Webmasters, google users, and Google as a corperation(shareholders).

"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."

This happens regaurdless of communication or lack there of.

"Its googles index, googles servers, and how and when google communicates is completely up to them, not you."

This is fine. Keep in mind the above. If they want webmasters with VALUABE content/products to be in their index and available to their searchers it is up to us to allow them to use it. We don't have to let them tap into our value. There needs to be some sort of middle ground and that starts with communication.


 6:49 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


No. Its all over the board. Most of my big terms (2 words) I haven't lost at all, but some the smaller type ones went from top 3 to 40-50 overnight. Its the same trend you read on several forums/blogs. From page 1 to page 5 overnight. I was a victim of the spam sites as well as my sites were scraped heavily and buried. These sites have been removed for the most part but I still haven't regained much of anything. This is the frustrating part, you just don't know why or how to fix anything. I haven't changed anything as well because like most people I tend to ride it out and expect to bounce back. But I hate seeing people making drastic changes based on pure speculation. They will end up hurting themselves in the long run simply because they don't know what else to do.

[edited by: gcc_llc at 6:54 pm (utc) on July 28, 2006]


 6:53 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

"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? "

Since when is being blunt hostile? Its funny what some of you people think is hostile. They have communicated with me on page 1. Did they answer anything? Nope. Did they answer questions put forth to them that were asked politely? Nope.

If you want hostile go look as some of the other thread in which some 4 letter words are being thrown around.

If I was in their position I probably wouldn't worry too much since I had record earnings and have 6 weeks vacations. I certainly understand the reality of the situations but that doesnt mean I have to like it or keep quiet about it.

Hostile is implying other people are incompetent.


 6:59 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Time to ride it out and let Google fix themselves the best they can and in the mean while grow our sites and work on other means of traffic. The Googlers will be back when they figure themselves out a bit better.

Hey, lets all go invade Ask and see what they can handle...


 7:02 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh I have :) Money I spent on Adwords is going into print ads now.

The problem is people don't really know if Google is the problem or their sites are the problem and its just responding to a new algo change. Either way, you cant really do much of anything about it but sit here and continue to stew.


 7:06 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

To get back to the topic..I think another question and answer post such as the ones Reseller put up links to from last year, would be very beneficial right now.
We have had several momentous events that all seem to have started back with Big Daddy. I, myself have a particular question I would like to have answered. I really am concerned that something in particular changed after BD and would like to find out.
When GG or Matt pop in is about the only opportunity.
Let's please not run them off with vehemence.


 7:12 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

" Glcc,

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."

Its checked everyday "old timer". It's not a virus.


 8:18 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good evening texasville
Good evening all

Just back from our local McDonalds (5 km away) and enjoyed my daily Mc flurry :-)

"To get back to the topic..I think another question and answer post such as the ones Reseller put up links to from last year, would be very beneficial right now."

Agreed. And I wish GG/Matt and Brett would arrange such an event soon. I know that Matt has plenty of time this weekend ;-)


 8:28 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

First off, many thanks and congrats to Reseller for having brought both Matt and GG into the same thread.

Secondly, I want to thank the “Google Guys” for having helped me today to open my eyes and see exactly what has been going on with my personal site and others’.

There were rumors around by more professional people regarding dc but I didn’t pay too much attention because their knowledgeable hints got mingled with innumerable other useless posts.

A site: search on shows for the first time ever, 85 supplemental pages BEFORE my home page. I have already deleted 35 and I was until yesterday hesitant on whether it would be a good idea to delete the rest (see, they were all PR4 or PR3 pages – sniff sniff) but ALL very poor content wise and I am taking my hat off to Google for having succeeded in “discovering” them.

On the same dc all my “good” pages are indexed. ALL OF THEM, NOT ONE MISSING.

In the main index there still remains a small number of “poor” pages belonging to the “poor” section.

I now know it’s only a matter of time that G gets them in the supplemental index too.

I also now know the reason why my site sank from the first page of results to the fifth. Although not banned (because it contains 500+ pages of excellent, unique content), it is being penalized for another 150 absolutely junk pages which ALSO contained junk links - websites that are now reduced to one-indexed-page-sites or a little more than one because they have been using stolen content – sigh, how could I know back then..

Reseller, I sent you a message two days ago about that site featuring for several years on position 1 for one of the most competitive keywords, and having disappeared to nowhere on the normal results. Although it reappears on, on this dc there are only 580 pages of it in the main index, all the rest (around 99,500 pages) is supplemental, so I guess that's the reason why this site is vacillating.

In examining a little closer I notice that these “lost” pages belong to a forum!

Well yes of course, another of these useless forums containing junk…

I am now hoping that those deleted supplemental pages as well and those I will delete in the immediate future will get off the index asap and that my home page gets back to the top on just as it shows on the “normal” results.



 8:41 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Skipped a bunch of the off topic stuff, but just in case it hasn't been mentioned, Matt asked for questions on his blog today.


 9:11 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting post Maria444.

Can someone explain to me why deleting supplemental pages could help recover your ranking?

This is not intuitively obvious to me. I only have 6 supplementals out of a 105 page website. In the main index, 2 are showing ahead of my home page. On the 72 dc that was referred to as having the site: search fixed, my home page is listed at #1, and the supplementals are down in the middle somewhere.

Why would deleting supplementals help recover one's rankings?

Oliver Henniges

 9:22 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Since when is being blunt hostile?

It's not hostile, just somewhat clumsy.

What precisely are you expecting the google-people to communicate? If someone asked you about the nature of the holiday-envy-algo in your brain, would you publish details here?

Besides, I'd also support what arubicus said, though again it would be helpful to formulate that in a bit less emotional and aggressive tone. Yes: Most of us in here can be proud of our work on the web, and google profites as much from our unique content as we do from the visitors google sends us.

So, to get back to resellers initial question: What can we do to improve this relationship? Did I understand that right that we are seeking best means (thus meta-levels) of communication, not dicussing specific content=questions yet? Webmasterworld (as a "neutral place") does not allow posting specific URLs, MCs blog was criticised because of deletion of posts and a fairly arbitrary selection of sites to be analysed/reviewed. Any comprimise or alternative plattform at sight? Is there anything a frustrated webmaster can do as a REWARD for someone inside google taking a closer look at the specific site?


 9:42 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can someone explain to me why deleting supplemental pages could help recover your ranking?

I didn’t say exactly say that Ergomaniac but perhaps I wasn’t clear enough.

I meant that this is the first time that only my junk pages show as supplemental and I stress the fact that his is now happening only on

Up to now and since the beginning of Jagger I wasn’t showing ANY supplementals except once, a few weeks ago. I then posted that I will NOT delete a good number of them because I didn’t consider them bad.

3-4 months ago, about half my site went off the index and many of those pages were excellent. I then posted that the reason imo why they got off was that they were 3-4 clicks away from the home page. Tedster and others agreed that this was a problem back then.

Gradually my good pages got into the main index so deleting them at THAT time would have been catastrophic.

I am now finding that for the first time the pages I consider as useless match exactly my supplementals.

I am now deleting them NOT only because G classifies them as supplemental but mainly because I do.


 10:14 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oliver Henniges

"Any comprimise or alternative plattform at sight?"

As to posting specific URLs, I guess there could be three reasons to do so and there are already 3 possible solutions:

- URLs of sites with problems.
That could be reported directly through the Sitemaps (as GG mentioned as a possibility).

- URLs of deindexed or panelized sites.
File a reinclusion request on Google's site.

- Spam sites.
To be reported through Google's spam reporting, or by sticky directly to GG or Matt, if that is what they wish.

And that leaves us with an acceptable compromise:

Run the Q&A here on WebmasterWorld Forum 30 :-)

[edited by: reseller at 10:16 pm (utc) on July 28, 2006]


 10:24 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> Can someone explain to me why deleting supplemental pages could help recover your ranking? <<

It will not help at all to do that, because for supplemental pages that start to return a 404, Google continues to show a supplemental page for that URL for the next two or three years.

Additionally, if the page that was deleted is not supplemental at the time it was deleted, then Google pulls a recent cache copy out of somewhere a few weeks after the deletion, creates a new supplemental result for that deleted page, and then shows it for a year or two, to help people who otherwise would have no access to that information that was "deleted".


 10:27 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I got one for you reseller. How about answer your original questions and/or concerns.

"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". "

As usual Google avoids the original questions an states what they have done recently. And to further deflect the issue they ask how they can actually become better.

Answering the orignial questions would be nice. Its just comical that they hired someone to do this yet he hasn't even posted in this thread once.


 10:31 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

....creates a new supplemental result for that deleted page, and then shows it for a year or two....

I deleted some pages a year ago and never cared about them until Jagger. At that time, (around September-October last year) I checked on all my pages and there was none supplemental, as for the deleted pages there was no cache for them at all. They've completely disappeared. They were pages that had been linked from the home page for at least a year non-stop.

I maybe one in a million.


 10:34 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

C'mon suggest something to improve Google-Webmasters communications. I know you can ;-)

I'm not colin_h but I have one which would leave me little to complain about: Quit it with the canned responses.

When sites were disappearing and every response was met with "try Google sitemaps" at first I was irritated and after a while it turned into outright anger.

We all know Google has some issues and when it's felt that Google reps are trying to distract us by changing the question that can lead to frustration with angst gravy poured on top of it.

When the going gets tough and the webmaster community gets loud and boisterous just showing up doesn't solve anything.

I'm not claiming we are owed anything except maybe honesty because when our perception is that Google isn't being honest a real problem is brewing. I think GG and Matt both know this and that's why they popped in to affirm their existence and the fact that they at least read this forum. But that doesn't really solve the problem does it?


 11:10 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good evening Folks

When I wrote the first post of this thread, I had two things in mind:

- Make Google aware of deterioration in Google-Webmasters communications during recent months.

- Find solutions, best together with Google, to improve the situation.

Both GoogleGuy and Matt Cutts have been kind to visit the thread, contribute and have shown interest in seeking ways together with us to improve Google-Webmasters communications.

At the time that we are talking suggestions to improve Google-Webmasters communications, I wouldn't be surprised if both GG and Matt are doing the same on their parts at the plex.

Lets keep in mind that this thread isn't a Q&A GG/Matt thread. Therefore we should wait until Brett/GG/Matt start such thread, then judge the quality of GG's and/or Matt's answers.

As to Adam, please give this young man a break. He has just started at Google Search Quality Team. It isn't fair at all to issue at present a judgment about his contributions. Lets give him some more time ;-)


 4:18 pm on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

As I was saying...

Nice to see GG and then a fresh MC .. but what they can actually share is going to be limited due to very strick NDA's ... so most of the time it will seem very generic...

AND.. it is even possible that as they see the patterns emerge for questions and concerns from accross the webmaster spectrum...they may decide to open up a more inclusive tract for addressing these concerns.. ..


 2:43 am on Jul 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's nice to see some communication, however, let's get down to brass tacks. The posts left us with no real information that I can deduce:

Site is fixed on a server that runs independantly of real results.

That site: fix does nothing to return websites who have been obviously lost since the 27th.

There is and has been no change in reinclusion requests for real webmasters with real sites.

There is and has been absolutely no change in spam reports from my knowledge.

If I missed something feel free to interject...


 7:29 am on Jul 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

hvacdirect hit the nail on the head. I don't mind that Google have problems, I don't even mind that their problems will sometimes cause me problems, but I really resent the implication that I've done something wrong to cause this situation. Don't they realise that our time isn't free to play with and constantly checking our code for errors takes up valuable time that could be spent more positively (Like Barbeques and sunbathing - oh no, I'm straying again).

All the Best and my communication to Google is "Pull you finger out guys".

Col :-)


 8:02 pm on Jul 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

On the topic of sitemaps .. it would be great if when a crawl error occured it would tell us where that page was. I'm seeing links that are not from our site and not in our sitemap showing crawl errors. We implemented a 301 redirect for mydomain.com so it goes to the full domain www.mydomain.com

but some of these crawl errors are definately not from our site.. they are external.

It might help us fight the site scrapers and spammers.

Oliver Henniges

 9:25 pm on Jul 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Let me turn it around: how could we do better?

I just had been searching for some older posts of mine in google.public.support.general. A few years ago I profited a lot from the answers given there, particularly in 2002, when calum was quite active. Today I had a quick look and noticed that all posts on page one remained at a number of posts of one. I'd estimate that the number of requests there would now be ten times as much as four years ago, if answers were still given, so that it would be probably too much even for a full-time google employee to moderate that group. I myself switched over to ww, because of the very competent help I receive in here. Nevertheless that google-newsgroup is the very original place were people would expect individual help from google insiders. Maybe a good place for someone new in the team to make his first experiences by again and again pointing newbies to the relevant how-to-pages.

> Matt Cutts has blogged about the googlebot crawl cache plus the indexing timeline.

I am not a native speaker of English and Matt Cutts has quite a poetic way to express himself. Personally, I see that as a challenge rather than complain about it; but I find it quite hard to follow his blog and decipher his hints.

Thx reseller. I understood googleguy this way that beyond the resources you pointed to, google is always seeking for means to improve communication with webmasters. I guess one of the biggest problems is the different levels on which such a communication has to take place, ranging from giving tipps for absolute web-newbies (which is best done in forums with the help of other more experienced webmasters) to some very personal communication and discussion of latest web-trends on pub-cons and similar occasions. The most critical part seems to be feedback on the result of the search algos.

On the one hand google definitely needs this feedback, because it is part of the very nature of pattern recognition by neuronal networks that the programmer actually doesn't really know why and how exactly such an automaton works. And it should be clear that pattern recognition of link-structures on a very abstract level is an important part of the algos. On the other hand the google-insiders are not allowed to present too many details, which is natural for fighting spam. And google also is not allowed to admit that they don't know why and how the algos work, because it is almost impossible to explain details of neuronal networks to the yellow press.

Wherever and however such a feedback is discussed: On the one hand such a plattform should be open enough to make sure that googleguy or Adam is not always talking to the same two or three people, on the other hand it must be strictly moderated by a "neutral" person in order to keep feedback constructive, keep the threads readable and unpolluted by google-should-google-shouldn't posts. I'm sure the google people have done a lot of work, when Matt cutts invited to post specific ULRs for revision; but as we see, for some people the choices and results seemed quite arbitrary, the way this communication was organized smelt >ahem< stalinistic to some. So "neutral" is quite important.

In short: This is a job for Super-Brett;)


 10:02 pm on Jul 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oliver Henniges

Thanks a bunch for your generous contribution to the thread. Highly appreciated!

I too wish to see our kind host Brett arranging here on WebmasterWorld Forum 30:

- Q&A with GoogleGuy or Matt Cutts

- Q&A with Vanessa Fox of Sitemaps

And wish to hear from GG, Matt, Vanessa and Brett when they are ready.

August month is a good time for Q&A, I guess ;-)


 10:34 pm on Jul 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good afternoon reseller..
I just wanted to say I second that motion. I think it's time. And I think both sides could benefit as I am of the mind that Google itself may not be aware of some of the problems.


 11:39 pm on Jul 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is my first post here in this board.
It's been interesting to read this thread and I have been trying to find some substantial tips/suggestions/answers to what really happened June 27th but I haven't been able to find anything, peobably because noone knows and the only ones the DO know doesn't speak, no matter how hard we pat their backs.
My site got hit really hard and most of my pages went supplemental, with cached pages from August last year. Google also had a hard time finding my pages overall since they seemd to get all the paths wrong!
To be really sure about the paths I changed all my pages so they have fully qualified paths, but nothing seems to help. To me it seems that Google are using old cached pages when they crawl, since they get all these old pages that haven't been in use for years, only in googles cache!
I don't know what went wrong but I have emaile google over and over about my site (re-inclusion requests even if it is still in the index) but like always, no response, and if you DO get a response, then it is the usual canned email " Check your site because we didn't do anything wrong.
I have been discussing the whole thing with 20/20 for the last month, so maybe there will be something that comes out of it, and maybe google have to give an answer?!


 7:44 am on Jul 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Talking about Google-Webmasters communications, and while we are waiting for the Q&A on WebmasterWorld which I mentioned in my previous post. I see Matt Cutts introducing new way of communication; Video! Very innovative ;-)

Matt is going soon to answer some of the more than 150 questions of his blog visitors under subject Grabbag Friday [mattcutts.com].

I hope a transcript of the video would also be available for further discussion and future reference.


I can see that Matt has made the Video available now on his blog.

SEO Answers on Google Video [mattcutts.com]

Thanks, Matt!


 11:45 am on Jul 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's a great way to humanise the communication for those of us that can't make the distance to attend the various conferences that are around.

Hopefully we can capture the main points, along with Matt's "Grab Bag" and spin them into different discussion threads.

I'd still like to push for some sort of premium paid service for answering concerns by webmasters on specific site issues, perhaps via SiteMaps, or an audit process for identifying problems on sites rather than be left to guess. SEO's will still be busy, i think.

It could be used effectively for both siteowners/webmasters and be designed in such a way that it better identifies webmasters and SPAM through some validation process.

Just my shared thoughts .... and thanks Matt for taking this refreshing approach to communicating.

[edited by: Whitey at 11:47 am (utc) on July 31, 2006]

Oliver Henniges

 2:45 pm on Jul 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

> transcript of the video

Yes. On holiday with an umts-modem falling back to 57k GPRS. No video. Blind. #*$!.

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