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|Possible Shift in Google-Webmasters Communication Policy!|
Have Googlers stopped announcing updates and posting weather reports?
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.
It started to go downhill when they went public. I think they are restricted due to the legal issues concerning a public company.
But, you are correct, I have seen a lot less communication over the last several months. It has to be intentional.
Yes, I believe it has a lot to do with being a public company. They worry about letting the wrong word slip out to the financial community.
Google guy and the rest have probably been told to keep their mouths shut.
When the new guy (Adam) showed up a couple of months ago I thought we might have some communication; but that seems to have been a quick one or two visits to the forums and then nothing more.
I don't agree. "Googleguy" seems to drop by with his cryptic hints less than before, but "Matt Cutts" has been very forthcoming in his blog. Apparently he's was on an extended vacation, so maybe that's where this perception comes from.
Don't forget the old expression:
"You're damned if you do and damned if you don't."
I think there are two reasons for that.
1. Legal repercussions, lets face it, if a Google employee divulges too much information about the algo, imagine the lawsuits that could fly.
2. Complaining and whining webmasters. Take a look at the forums, matt’s blog, and other forums. I see a lot of people who whine and complain about Google yet their own sites are not in order. I saw that even Brett made a post last week about it.
There are very few of us old timers who actually get on here and post good information and a lot more complainers and whiners. After all, is this forum here to troubleshoot websites and share ideas and experiences?
May be if webmaster world moderators would start cracking down on these "Google sucks" and "Google is spam" type of posts, may be googleguy and Adam would post more. I am more than sure that they read and hear enough complaints during the day and really do not want to come to webmaster world and read more.
After all, reading all of these posts about how google sucks and spam is king is not what us old timers come here for, right?
I think you are right Reseller.
I can track the sudden silence from them right to the point when they said they were going to be more open and communicate more with webmasters. And by "communicate more" they of course meant say less and what they do say it will not be specific at all to be of any value.
Case and point: Look at all the valuable information that adam guy who was supposedly hired just for that purpose has put out so far, nada, zip. I think "bad data push" was his most quoted statement so far.
I think you have a point trinorthlighting, I see many new registered users with a history of only complaining about Google, how they actually do evil and are greedy, etc. It seems some have come here only to propagate their anti google agenda. Personally, they're still my #1 search engine and my #1 source of revenue, and when I may complain now and then, it's just tough love ;)
To be honest Reseller, I have never felt that there was any real communication between Google and our community. They have always used language that is obviously edited from above and is so guarded that it would only give reassurance to those who have nothing to lose.
I'm just glad that my decision last year to flirt with MSN & Yahoo, and get out of bed with the big tease Google is now paying off.
As far as I'm concerned ... the less I hear from Matt, Googleguy and Adam the better ... it's all junk (IMHO).
All the best
Perhaps they might be on thier summer holidays - shock horror!
While i think that communication is good, I can not say that I blame them for being quiet. I can say that at least 30 times over the past year i have written a reply to a post on these boards, discussing google and ended up not posting it because I re read every single post I am about to make. I say this because some of those 30 possible posts were not always in my best interests or in the best interests of the subject.
One of my daily task where i work (i have a few hats)is license compliance. We have a our EULA on the site and it is something that must be agreed to when they use it.
When they violate that compliance i have to let them know. For at least 3-4 hours a day, i get bashed, beat up, and put down by multiple people for various reasons. I never did anything to make them mad, but i was the recipient of the abuse because they can do it.
The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is debate and argue topics because after years of doing the same thing, it is just something i do not want to deal with.
I guess my point in all of this is that people like Google Guy, Matt, and Adam, all work for Google, they all have to follow the guidlines that the company tells them too. there is a real strong possibility that they are simply doing what they are told. Maybe the powers that be realized that no matter how you modify an index, refresh data, update algo, update Pr and so on, it is always going to cause hundreds, if not thousands of people to grief them because they were affected. I have been affected, i got grief, but i understand that its my problem and no matter if Google says something or not, it's not going to change any issues i am having to change instanly.
Let us remember that Google itself announced that Adam was going to be the laison for them to the webmasters and Adam came to the forum here and joined. This was long after going public. It was supposed to be a new era of communication. There was an effort by the moderators to extinguish any flame directed towards him. Politeness was enforced strictly.
Since joining his posts have been infrequent. 19 since May.
Now is that communication?
I am not trying to flame Adam. I am sure it is not his fault. It just exemplifies Google's duplicitous attitude towards the webmaster community. I personally have questins I would like answered. One in particular. One that is really bugging me. But I don't have much hope of getting it answered.
I don't know what the question is, but I can strike a guess at the 'Official' Google response ...
"Google knows about that issue, wait and be patient and everything will be ok in the end ... oh yeah, and don't forget to check our webmaster guidelines, because without a doubt the error is yours" ;-)
I fed up with this condescending method of 'communication'. IMHO if they have nothing to say ... don't bother.
All the Best
If we start with the premise that Google is not the all-knowing, infallible demi-gods of all things related to computers, search technology, and the internet, this is quite easily explained.
Things started getting silent around "Jagger", an acknowledged algo tweak. What was Jagger supposed to fix? I don't know nor do I remember Google's "official" announcement because whatever it was, it didn't work.
The Jagger update quickly turned into the "Big Daddy" infrastructure roll-out. What was that supposed to fix? Supposedly nothing. Just a "bigger, better" algo for "things unnamed".
<Cut to G executives making startingly announcements about storage concerns...and the theory that's been around since the first "updates," that "storage concerns" were the reason there were "updates" in the first place>
According to MC, Bid Daddy was rolled out and working perfectly fine although nearly all of the webmaster community (old, new, authority, commerical, black, grey, and white hats alike) were suddenly "missing" pages, getting more than half their sites put into supplemental, pages not being crawled, etc etc.
Then G seems to be fixing the supplemental pages and crawling issues when along comes the 5 million page spam dominating the SERPS and given the official "bad data push" by Adam.
Here we are some 3-4 months after the "official" MC announcement about BD being all dandy and completely rolled out and what exactly has been "improved" since Jagger?
It's quite simple.
It's a major FUBAR by a company. It happens all the time. If G were Firestone tires, we'd be hearing about exploding tires on the news. If G were a hamburger company, we'd be hearing about a recall of all burger patties for E Coli.
As G's product doesn't immediately affect the health of everyday citizens, they remain quieter than usual - is that even possible? ;) -
I suspect BD didn't and hasn't done whatever it was supposed to, but shhhhh if no one knows what it was supposed to do, they won't know if it's working or not.
If BD was a smashing success, you best believe G would be talking about it up and down. They are a public company after all, and what investor doesn't want to hear about G's new algo techonology and how it puts all the other SEs to shame.
But that didn't happen ....
On that note, I prefer G's silence than hearing the usual PR nonsense they throw out there for webmasters who fall for it, hook, line and sinker.
Their silence tells me all I need to know.
[edited by: whitenight at 4:20 am (utc) on July 27, 2006]
"..Their silence tells me all I need to know.."
Yes...the "silent treatment" holds volumes of information and truths...
There's no way google can say.. "woops.. sorry white-hat webmasters.. we screwed up."
Instead we are accused of whining and not following rules.. when we follow rules 100%, I speak for myself and dozens of other individuals I have talked to.
I understand trinorthlighting's feeling that too many people spend too much time in fruitless complaining, and it's true that can get tiresome. At the same time, I think there are real issues and frustrations that webmasters can hardly help but give voice to. As far as Google's communications go, I'm less concerned about pronouncements from people like GoogleGuy or Matt Cutts and more about how well they respond to people who e-mail them with questions or problems. My own experience in that area has not been terrible -- I was penalized but eventually got it fixed-- but many people report that their e-mails go unanswered or they just receive pointless boilerplate. For one example, you could search for the comments of Matt Heaton, CEO of the web host Bluehost, about what he considers bad customer service. ("I will spend over $100,000 on google adwords this month. You would think that I could get some prompt service out of them. No no no… ") I think this kind of basic business reponsiveness, where it does seem Google is failing, is more important than slipping hints to webmasters about algo shifts.
[edited by: Right_Reading at 4:37 am (utc) on July 27, 2006]
I think that the communication has been always weak, particularly when you consider that if they weren't using webmasters' content then they would never have become anything of value in the first place.
That philosophy aside, I agree that the communicate has been considerably weaker as of late. I am eager to hear more about what happened on Jun 27th. But of course individuals such as myself appear to be of no importance to Google, which I must admit, does spawn some regret on my part that I let then use my content in the first place to add to their value.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!
# Stress levels stabilized!
[edited by: Chico_Loco at 4:43 am (utc) on July 27, 2006]
I was just wondering if googleguy posted in the time Matt was on his holiday.....
how could he if he was on holiday?
Thanks for your contributions so far. Much appreciated!
When Google appoint one or more of its own employees to be webmaster liaison, I assume that those employees get paid to do that . Also when those same employees attend conferences and public meetings. I.e we are not talking about private contributions of Google employees in that connection but part of their paid jobs.
IMO, the golden days of Google-Webmasters communications were the days of our kind member GoogleGuy (GG). He was very helpful, friendly and most important tolerant to critic (and bashing). GG was always there when we needed him. Q&A of GG were very popular indeed. And most of us looked at GG as part of our webmasters community, rather than as only a Google employee.
GG has chosen top communicate with webmasters on their own platforms. And especially, WebmasterWorld Forum 30 was THE forum on which GG contributed most.
As to the kind Adam Lasnik, I guess its still early to issue a judgment about his efforts as a webmaster liaison. We continue to wish him luck and look forward to his contributions.
I guess things went wrong when Google-Webmasters communications moved for the most part from webmasters forums to Google's blogs and the kind Matt Cutts blog. Though Matt is a kind guy, he follows ZERO tolerant policy for any critical viewpoints to Google. And he has been focusing more and more on marketing and promoting Google's products and services, unfortunately. A visit to Matt's blog and view of his recent posts illustrate exactly what I mean.
The consequences of deterioration of Google-Webmasters communications mightbe serious ones. For example, if the current critical situation continue, Google employees might risk that the webmasters community will start ignoring them in the same way they are ignoring the webmasters communities. Furthermore, webmasters wouldn't find it of interest at all to pay to attained conferences where Google employees are listed as main speakers etc.. etc...
Having said that, I still wish somebody in Google bring the current thread contents to the attentions of Google's management in an effort to improve the current Google-Webmasters communications.
Well I never heared Yahoo announcing/communicating anything properly .. besides moronic canned letters when my gf email adress got slashed for no reason whatsoever.
Young hip companies become corporate monsters no matter how hard they try not to.
You will still find some reasonable responses in G beta programs, recently had that with videos when they made a mistake that they reverted and apologised for any inconvenience caused.
One could of course say Search is back to beta since Jagger, but that would be cruel .. ;)
After reading some of the half baked posts on this board, If I was a Google employee, I would not post anything either.
Every time they do, they get bushwacked..... Every Webmaster in the world thinks their site is the bomb and deserves the #1 position even it if is nothing but an affiliate link dump.
I too have noticed the number of useful posts have really declined on this board. So much so that I hardly ever visit it anymore.
I agree with phpdude.
Also, there is a big difference between whining and complaining and bringing up valid points. Its all about how you word posts.
Right Reading, "At the same time, I think there are real issues and frustrations that webmasters can hardly help but give voice to." Great point.
When there are genuine sites that are affected malicously by random google updates/refreshes or whatever.. it's great when we can all get together and try to make sense of it all. Sharing ideas as to what, how and why is great and webmasterworld has given us an incredible portal. Some webmasters get more frustrated then others, yet it all comes down to trying to find a pattern/solution to us white-hats that have been attacked. It's very hard for some to comprehend the situation of being blacklisted for no apparent reason..
Great post reseller.
[edited by: AustrianOak at 1:41 pm (utc) on July 27, 2006]
Although I have always got a whinge on for Google, I can see why they would want to leave this forum alone. Let's face it, as 50% of us fall ... 50% of us rise and this creates the open squabbling that is all too common on the Google section of WebmasterWorld.
IMHO I think that we would do much more good devising an official scale with which to accurately judge the serps quality. 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. I think that this would eventually lead to respect from Google returning to our forum.
All the Best
to be honest its not as bad as it may seem. The plex guys do communicate when they want to put to bed talk of a problem where they believe one does not exsist, or has now been resolved. You can guage if an issue really exsists by whether or not comment is made on it.
A woman commented to me that webmasters are just like men, public transportation and elevators. If you miss one, another will be right behind it.
Having watched the expert advice given on this board to Google, I would expect they are ready to miss some.
Some people here have given some fantastic advice to webmasters about how to cope and what to do. But the webmaster predictions about what is going to happen to google if it ignores the webmasters or this or that has been simply wrong. It has been little more than childish drivel that Google is right to ignore.
Thanks to Tedster with his repeated posting of how you should manage a web site and those who give specifics on how they survived or recovered. That is definitely more important that Google inflating some webmasters' egos by making post that they get picked apart on anyway.
blimey....people whining about people whining..
its all off-topic of course because this thread is simply asking if the policy of communication between Google and webmasters has changed. The reasons why it may have changed may be appropriate if you at least give your view on the topic..has it or has it not changed..
of course reseller is correct that it has. This does not imply they have any obligation to communicate at all. But if you don't get side tracked with your own bias on what should and should not be said on a Google forum its an interesting question. What really would prompt the change? Would it coincide simply with a new policy decision? Were they simply fed up up with being bashed for their openness? Or is the reason deeper? Could it be part of a wider new direction?
"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."
While I think this is an excellent idea, i do not think it would work. I say this because I think more people would be prone to vote disaster becasue when things go bad, they look for information. I am pretty sure that a higher percentage of people visit these forums when something bad happens to their site as opposed to the people that are not having issues. That might cause an inaccurate poll.
I still think that it is a great idea though.
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