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Webmaster Central - Suggestions for improvement
Whitey




msg:3060917
 12:31 am on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's been a big step forward by the Google Search Quality team over recent months in communicating with SEO's and site owners. Especially through these major updates.

But there's still a lot of anxiety out there by everyday folks on how to impliment and manage a website. It kinda reminds me of the days before Microsoft brought in Windows when people were struggling with complex language to do their tasks.

It would be good if there was improvement in the systematic method of identifying key quality control elements from a site owners perspective and a way in which this can be better presented, than the way things are currently done.

Maybe a check list of pass and fail.

Some of this is well on the way - [ hat's off ] - but as some is way off, isn't this the time to put your 2 cents worth in and give some valuable feedback, perhaps with some urgent priority areas?

For me the critical areas for systematic analysis are:

-Site Architecture [ big improvements here recently ]
-IBL's [ better analysis to ascertain quality ]
-Duplicate content [ and the various types ]
-Banning
-Penalties

Maybe some comments on the effects of each error would be good, so that webmasters can plan for the implications of these issues.

What would you like to see happening to support you better?

 

abates




msg:3061100
 6:40 am on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

One thing I'd love to see is a list of dead links.

Google knows (a) what links I have on my site, and (b) what status those URLs return when Googlebot tries them. It would be nice if Google saved me the trouble of checking all those links myself by providing a list somewhere in sitemaps.

I think this would be a great help to webmasters. I've lost count of the number of times I've tried to follow a link from a site and the target isn't there any more.

SEOcritique




msg:3061113
 7:21 am on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I too will add my voice, again, to those that admire Google for this and for the good work that the SiteMaps, ahem, Webmaster Central team is doing. It is also apparent from some of the updates that Google’s WmC Team is listening to folks at the SES sessions and implementing some of our suggestions.

Here are two thoughts that come to mind:

It would also be nice to be able to clear, filter or mark errors as acknowledged or corrected so we no longer have to look at them.

Vanessa, I suppose it would be too much to ask for a button that will update our visible PageRank. <G> :)

Frederic1




msg:3061126
 8:00 am on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

IMO Webmaster Central is the best tool Google has ever made! Now I know that google couldn't index some pages because it found a 4xx or 5xx error code (I'm especially interested in 503 which means SQL overload for my sites).

My suggestion?
Would be great if we could tell google to index *ONLY* the urls which are on the sitemap file. Why? Because some people try to generate duplicate content by adding extra parameters to my urls.

g1smd




msg:3061143
 8:47 am on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

We all know that Google has multiple datacentres with multiple versions of their results spread across them.

Which datacentre is supposed to match up with whatever WMC reports to you? Can you get to see different WMC reports by going directly to a different datacentre to log into WMC?

Tomseys




msg:3061178
 9:53 am on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would like to see basic customer support, like other internet businesses and websites have.

Tomseys




msg:3061209
 10:56 am on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just added and verified many of my sites to my webmaster central account. That is a nice improvement. Would be nicer to be able to contact someone there and get a relevant human response with 24 hours.

One thing I noticed odd with one of my sites that is missing from the index is that it was last crawled Dec 31, 1969.

[edited by: Tomseys at 11:20 am (utc) on Aug. 26, 2006]

plasma




msg:3061216
 11:13 am on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

The statistics on WMC are next to useless.
G says, it's an average from the last 3 weeks, but mine never changed (for all of my sites).
They still show the very first rankings from the day I submitted them.
The statistics show searches as top queries that have only been searched once!
Even the shown date of the last crawl is wrong and several days off O_o

edit:Forgot to mention, that my real ranks changed since 3 weeks

Tomseys




msg:3061280
 1:13 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

When you add (and verify) your sites to the Webmaster tool area, the system lists your urls. When you click on a Manage url link it takes you to another page that offers a "See Index Stats" link. When you click on that it takes you to a page with a list of links of common google search commands. When you click on one of those, a popup comes up but it doesnt show anything, it just says "about blank" in the address field of the pop up window. The manage my account and help link are doing the same thing. Just so you know.

[edited by: Tomseys at 1:24 pm (utc) on Aug. 26, 2006]

vite_rts




msg:3061295
 1:34 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Let the statistics be either

1, configurable like in analytics

2, or weekly

Too much happens in even 1 day for a 3 week average to be worth anything to me , anyway.

Probably good for a giant website, but would they actually be interested wi this tool with all the professional tools an personell they might have already.

This tool must sure be for the one man or very small operators

Tomseys




msg:3061301
 1:48 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Regarding my post above, everything is working in Firefox, the problem I had was with ie6.

r3nz0




msg:3061313
 2:09 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Let us see on witch page a link exists to a non existing page (404)

very handy! let's do it google

plasma




msg:3061330
 2:54 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Probably good for a giant website, but would they actually be interested wi this tool with all the professional tools an personell they might have already.

Nobody except G knows, on what SERPs you appear, even if you aren't clicked.
However, the stats should be fresh.

Bewenched




msg:3061350
 3:14 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Let us see on witch page a link exists to a non existing page (404)

I'm with ya on this one.

My site keeps showing errors for a few pages that are dynamic and the querystrings are broken all to heck... it would be nice to see where google got that link since it isn't in the sitemaps and the links like that dont exist on my site.

Where did those links come from? some site scrapers website?

twebdonny




msg:3061351
 3:20 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Reasons why a site is being penalized or filtered
to replace all the rampant speculation that
does no one anyb good.

vanessafox




msg:3061364
 3:45 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I really like a lot of these ideas and getting this feedback is great because we really want to build tools that webmasters want most. ...Within reason, SEOcritique. ;)

We are working to make the statistics as useful as possible. We've had a lot of feedback about that feature, so definitely let me know what your "dream" statistics would be.

Tomseys, does this happen with all of the index stats links? I can't replicate this in IE6, but I'll have the team look into it more on Monday.

We're working to get the display issue that's causing some sites to show 1969 dates fixed as quickly as possible. It would be pretty cool if we had actually mastered time travel -- I could make use of that in my personal life.

Tomseys




msg:3061386
 4:09 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Vanessafox. Yes, when you click through and try to click on the google command links like the site command etc or the my account button on top right it will pop up but go nowhere. I tried it with ie7 and it's working fine. The version of IE6 I have is 6.0.2900.2180 sp2 etc. It might just be an issue with my computer. I think I did read though someone else complaining about this (links not working) somewhere.

[edited by: Tomseys at 4:10 pm (utc) on Aug. 26, 2006]

Tomseys




msg:3061401
 4:24 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

here in the 10th post down someone asks about it:

[webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: Tomseys at 4:25 pm (utc) on Aug. 26, 2006]

joeduck




msg:3061407
 4:34 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Vanessa - great to see you in the forums and keep up the great sitemaps work!

I'd like to see Google develop a way to tell sites why they've been algorithmically downranked. If necessary this could be done in general terms to avoid giving away secret sauces.

Ironically there is now better "service" via reinclusion requests for penalized sites and people who are highly manipulative than those that are downranked for secret algo reasons (but still in the index) and are really trying to stay within guidelines.

dmje




msg:3061409
 4:35 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

The links do not work for me either...never have

vanessafox




msg:3061415
 4:43 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Are you also using IE6, dmje?

Whitey




msg:3061725
 11:22 pm on Aug 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'd like to see Google develop a way to tell sites why they've been algorithmically downranked. If necessary this could be done in general terms to avoid giving away secret sauces.

Joeduck / Seocritique - Absolutely!

It brings tears to my eyes when i see very capable webmasters taking years to crack certain issues. There are whole organsations with information distribution that can be brought to their knees.

The implications for these failures are huge, but on the flip side the opportunity for efficiency is great.

Then there are developers building widely applied internet content applications that don't co exist with the SERP's [ like g1smd's thorough coverage of a key BB software flaw ]

This whole process is so fundamental to the online alignment of good quality control right through the internet. It gives a basis for the internet to co exist in an ordered fashion.

And heck, when you have 000's of motivated webmasters doing the right thing [ eventually millions ] , SPAM can be a thing of the past with their co operation [ my Utopia! ]

So reporting comprehensively on bans, penalties etc at this early juncture is just so important, in my view, and although things can't be turned on overnight, it would be good to share in some of the plans that can make that happen.

[edited by: Whitey at 11:42 pm (utc) on Aug. 26, 2006]

dmje




msg:3061908
 4:10 am on Aug 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

V,

Yes I am

Tomseys




msg:3062568
 1:56 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting, I was looking in my account at one of my domains and it now says:

"No pages from your site are currently included in Google's index due to violations of the webmaster guidelines. Please review our webmaster guidelines and modify your site so that it meets those guidelines. Once your site meets our guidelines, you can request reinclusion and we'll evaluate your site."

I don't know how this could be. The site is a simple blog. There are no tricks or anything. I wonder if my other sites that fell out of the index will show this.

I don't know what I could possibly change.

Vanessafox, could you lend any advice?

Anyone else seeing this?

I will say that it is cool at least they are communicating what the deal is. Thank you for that.

[edited by: Tomseys at 1:58 am (utc) on Aug. 28, 2006]

Tomseys




msg:3062569
 1:59 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I wonder if it has to do with feed buttons I had added briefly but then discarded because it looked tacky. But then again other sites were not blogs. Maybe because I had a couple of one way and recip links between a few of my related sites? But other sites didn't. And it was only done because the site offered more indepth info or was very related.

This is a very good step in the right direction though. At least I know something is wrong.

[edited by: Tomseys at 2:27 am (utc) on Aug. 28, 2006]

Tomseys




msg:3062586
 2:21 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, they all now say the same thing (the ones out of the index).

Yikes!

It would be great if a specific violation could be listed so this way we could fix it and submit it.

[edited by: Tomseys at 2:26 am (utc) on Aug. 28, 2006]

Whitey




msg:3062625
 3:35 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Fantastic Tomseys! Now you have part of the truth confirmed.

If only the other half could be revealed, so that you can correct it - please keep us all posted.

btw - I'm going to take a peek and see if we've received anything on our underperforming sites .

Tomseys




msg:3062684
 4:33 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sure I'll update any developments.

One thing weird. My google account keeps changing to the Portuguese language.

edit: It's the sitemap part of the account that stays Portuguese. I can't get it to go English.

I recently added and verified a site with a Portuguese name about Brazil. Could that have set something off?

[edited by: Tomseys at 4:45 am (utc) on Aug. 28, 2006]

Drum




msg:3062685
 4:35 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

My suggestion:

Maybe define what "last crawl date" means, does it mean it is from which Googlebot - the adsense bot, the supplemental bot, the index bot?

I find it misleading that Google bot hits my site hundreds of times a day and my "last crawl date" was two weeks ago. Let me know which bot was two weeks ago.

Tomseys




msg:3062995
 1:21 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anyone know how to force the sitemap area to English instead of Portuguese? I know a little portuguese but it would be easier if the section was in English for me cause then I could just focus on trying to figure out what is wrong without translation concerns. Thanks.

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