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Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 190 message thread spans 7 pages: 190 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >     
Today's Webmaster & Their Relationship with Google
Understanding Where We Are & Where We are Going
The Shower Scene




msg:3334100
 7:55 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm convinced that today's webmaster is under the Google mindshare spell. Most don't even realize it.

  • Google's Guidelines do not define Ethical SEO
    Many webmasters equate Google's guidelines with "ethical seo." Google's guidelines represent rules that are convenient for Google. Ethics has nothing to do with it. Internet ethics define how you interact with other webmasters and websites, whether you choose to link to a partner with a real link or not, sabotage, and other questions of right and wrong that sometimes are so subjective they can have a thousand right answers. Google's Guidelines are not part of the ethical equation. It's time webmasters corrected their lazy habit of referring to ethics and Google's Guidelines as if they were one and the same.

  • Google has gone beyond user mindshare
    In many ways Google has acquired webmaster mindshare. How else to explain a post by a member who details his aggressive site promotion efforts then asks if it's ethical? Google literally has webmasters brainwashed into thinking that their guidelines defines ethics. When a webmaster as a matter of course refers to violating Google's guidelines as pertaining to ethics, what else can you do but call it what it is: a brainwash.

  • The Google Webmaster Spell
    Today's webmasters have become so under the Google spell that all their energy is focused on Google. The mindshare takeover is so complete they even think the Google Directory is an entity in itself.

    [webmasterworld.com...]

    I have my one site listed in google directory and the link information is wrong there. Could anyone tell me how we can contact the editors and change my link information for my website link in google directory....

  • Google Defines Webmaster Dialogue and Thinking
    Today's webmaster so intellectually lazy they actually believe that the best information is going to come from a heavily moderated Google Groups forum. Today's webmaster confuses helpful information with what is essentially Kool-Aid that is being posted on Matt Cutts blog.

    Do you actually believe the dialogue on a Google Group or a Matt Cutts blog is moderated for anything other than to make webmasters conform to Google's corporate will? On WebmasterWorld, and other forums like DP, SEW, TW, and many others, we are free to discuss every aspect of search marketing. On Matt Cutts blog and the official Google forums you are not. Google controls the dialogue and the outcomes of the discussions. Google and Matt Cutts are not concerned with helping you rank better. They are concerned about the integrity of their algorithm, and making webmasters unpaid partners in protecting Google's algorithm through snitch networks and data mining enterprises like Webmaster Central.

  • Thank you for smoking, have some more kool aid.
    Todays webmaster is so compliant, complacent, and utterly sheep-like they are willingly surrendering highly personal data to Google without understanding how it ultimately benefits Google far more than it benefits them. The toolbar was pretty invasive, but webmaster central is a shameless data grab. Old ladies resist when someone snatches their purse. Todays webmaster lacks the will to resist and the intellect to understand what Google is doing to them. Do you understand the irony of a search for "Webmaster Central [google.com]" leading to several web pages that benefits Google instead of websites that benefit webmasters?

  • Google is taking over and moderating the webmaster discussion
    Google endeavours to control the discussion of Google by limiting it to their own network of blogs and discussion forums. How else to explain the absence of AdSense advisor, GoogleGuy, Adam Lasnik, and AdWords Advisor? ASA didn't even bother to announce the last AdSense weekend update. GoogleGuy is absent on Webmaster Forums except to defend Google at TW or promoting their snitch programs.

    When was the last time GoogleGuy or the other representatives did something on the webmaster forums to help or answer questions? Where have they gone? I will tell you where they are. They are hijacking our dialogue and moderating it on the official Matt Cutts blog and their other Kool-Aid forums. I believe it's a conscious effort to control what you think and gain webmaster mindshare for the benefit of Google.

    Google is the Internet
    Am I the only one who feels it's extraordinary how Google is becoming the arbiter of web ethics, coding practices, and the webmaster dialogue? Do webmasters really want an Internet that is defined and dicated according to what is good for Google?

[edited by: The_Shower_Scene at 8:11 pm (utc) on May 8, 2007]

 

tedster




msg:3334104
 8:06 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Welcome to the forums, The_Shower_Scene.

Google has certainly succeeded in a way that is becoming a bit uncomfortable. Google="search engine" today and Google="information" tomorrow?

There are other mindshare equations in the public realm that are growing and also disturbing to me, such as server=Apache or, for some people, computer=PC/Windows. But Google is amazing in its proactive feeding of their dominance. I can't think of a single business that grew to a powerhouse in such a short timespan.

I agree that webmasters, even more than the general online population, should be extremely attentive to this situation. It's certain that other search engines are.

[edited by: tedster at 9:07 pm (utc) on May 8, 2007]

Crush




msg:3334175
 9:03 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I find it amazing people follow the spin they throw out about paid links etc and links in general. Matt cutts is a nice guy but I know he is talking out of where the sun don't shine.

The sad thing most people take heed of the spin and want to abide by the rules.

If they say do not do something, if I am not doing it already it is a clear signal for me to do it even more.

pageoneresults




msg:3334178
 9:06 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Great first post, Welcome to WebmasterWorld The Shower Scene!

Google is the Internet

Hey, that's my quote. ;)

Am I the only one who feels it's extraordinary how Google is becoming the arbiter of web ethics, coding practices, and the webmaster dialogue?

No, I'd say you are amongst like-minded people here at WebmasterWorld. Between Google and Wiki, what else is there to talk about? ;)

"We are Google's Stepping Stones."

MrStitch




msg:3334186
 9:12 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think someone lost their rankings and is just lashing out.

Meh, so have I, but who cares... I have a full time job already.

tedster




msg:3334191
 9:14 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

How else to explain the absence of AdSense advisor, GoogleGuy, Adam Lasnik, and AdWords Advisor? ...

I believe it's a conscious effort to control what you think and gain webmaster mindshare for the benefit of Google.

In fairness, Adam posted here just last Monday in the PR Update thread. And I can appreciate that extensive posting in all the major web forums and blogs is not a "scalable solution" these days. But Google's webmaster outreach did start right here - and an occasional continued helping hand here will be appreciated.

Conard




msg:3334198
 9:21 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Interesting first post.

I remember sending an email to Google way back when, mentioning the I had planned on moving a site to another domain name and I asked if what I had planed would allow me to keep my rankings.
The next day I received a detailed reply from a Googler giving me the steps to take including getting all of the sites that linked to me to update their links.

Now days, you can ask and ask and never get a straight reply unless you happen to be at a SE conference and then the information can be a bit sketchy.

Alas, our little friendly search engine has become a HUGE controlling factor on how you build a site, who you link to and how. All in an effort to keep their algo working and to keep the Internet relevant.

I chuckled the other day at a TW post that said the best and fastest way to clean up the web would be to filter any page that contained:
pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js

Now that would clean things up:-)))

johnhh




msg:3334237
 9:54 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Great post!

Google has the "webmaster mindshare" by virtue of its market position - in our neck of the woods Google has about 80-90% of search traffic so to ignore this would be silly.

However - I love the way everyone uses the new "tools" in Webmaster Console. New ones appear for a reason - to gather information or examples and "assistance" where obviously Google has a problem it can't solve easily ( the choice of non-www and www. the spam reporting etc )

The lack of comments here by Googleguy, heavily moderated forums, etc seem to reflect a much tighter corporate rein over comments made - always vague and perhaps a bit of mis-information.

[edited by: encyclo at 10:39 pm (utc) on May 8, 2007]

Keniki




msg:3334251
 10:06 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Its a great post.

I've always said if one of my sites are number one. Google is the best search engine in the world. If not the worse so its a love hate relationship for me. But if I didn't have an enormous respect for Google and ultimately a trust then I wouldn't even bother to comment

The concern for me is outside forces effecting listings and the scrapers and hijackers. In that way I don't believe Google offer clear enough advice. Infact its this great site webmasterworld where you get the most help.

calicochris




msg:3334256
 10:13 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Congratulations! Excellent first post. Not one day goes by that I look at my 'Google Account' and freak just a little inside for a moment or two.

As MS still dominates the desktop, so Google dominates advertising .. Oops, I meant 'search'.

From a personal perspective, Google is not giving me any longer what I search for. The Gems are gone, Googled out of Existence in our efforts to pander to some monolith in order to do what is right for customers.

So, there you have it. Kindred Spirits on this forum. Nevertheless, we still have to dance our part of the dance. I think we will see the next level of 'finding stuff' on the internet from the social bookmarking sites.

kidder




msg:3334326
 11:43 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Keniki - I am pretty sure Google gets a lot of help from this board also. Look at all of the free feedback they get every single day. Love hate is right, my thinking shifts on this almost daily - you can imagine Google looks at their serach engine on a much larger scale than the webmaster who looks at his vertical results and weeps. It's very easy to take it on a personal level when in fact a single webmaster is pretty much nothing in the overall scheme.

lawman




msg:3334332
 11:46 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wow, interesting discourse. Since my main function isn't SEO, I haven't given it much thought before. I'll have to devote more mental energy to it.

annej




msg:3334338
 11:59 pm on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

The difference between the support we got when problems occurred during the Bourbon update and the total absence of anyone from Google in the -950 discussions is so extreme. It's like they are a totally different company.

PS my function is supposed to be site builder, researcher, historian, and writer. Last year I spent most of my time here on webmaster world learning about better usability. Now I spend it trying to figure out why some of my pages go missing in Google.

mattg3




msg:3334385
 12:42 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I wanted to buy a piece of music from the copyright holder to accompany a film on Youtube. What I got back is the head of their legal team expressively forbidding me to use it on Youtube and Google Video. When I phoned him up why the hell he is going awol I got a rant that they are suing Google for Youtube and Google video.

Google is synonymous with copyright violation more and more.

europeforvisitors




msg:3334389
 12:47 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

To the OP:

1) Google's Webmaster guidelines are just common sense. They're also an excellent primer on how to build a useful Web site (much like Brett Tabke's "26 steps to 16K a day" guide).

2) If you don't like Google's common-sense guidelines, why get mad? Just ignore them. Nobody's forcing anyone to "build sites for users, not for search engines."

3) Why shouldn't Google employees hand out advice and invite feedback on their own (or Google's) blogs? Especially when advice that's dispensed on a third-party forum tends to get lost amid the conspiracy theories and "Google sucks" tirades? Think about the tone and message of your own statement that "They are hijacking our dialogue and moderating it on the official Matt Cutts blog and their other Kool-Aid forums." If you were GoogleGuy, Matt Cutts, Adam Lasnik, etc. (none of whom I've met, by the way), would you want to waste time talking to people who treat you with rudeness and disrespect?

[edited by: europeforvisitors at 12:59 am (utc) on May 9, 2007]

graywolf




msg:3334390
 12:51 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm genuinely amazed when I still meet people who are reasonably intelligent, but don't understand that Google charges for advertising and is a for profit company. The look on their faces reminds me of what children look like when they learn there really isn't a tooth fairy.

mattg3




msg:3334391
 12:59 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm genuinely amazed when I still meet people who are reasonably intelligent, but don't understand that Google charges for advertising and is a for profit company.

Well if that would be so that would be great. But usually you get a some sob story about how fantastic the heroes of search engine programming are stemming themselves against the evil world of spammers ... how their systems are not compromised by adwords or adsense and so on. Fair enough if you get that story from Google, but the endless defense of the holy Google start to grate more and more.

When I worked ten years ago at an ISP we started with 3 computers and pizza bozes everywhere. 1 year later 30 employees server room secretary and so on and so on.

Companies get bigger and change.. Do no evil is no more.. bog standard multinational that will crush you when they get their profits elsewhere.

tedster




msg:3334404
 1:17 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

For me the issue is to stay awake to the realities of the situation. Google is not a webmaster's partner. They are also not a webmaster's enemy. This is a competitive/cooperative relationship, and not a black and white situation.

It is a paradox, and as I wrote elsewhere, "The person who can embrace paradox is the person closest to an accurate model of reality - and that person has a greater chance of success."

So I feel webmasters should not allow themselves to be hypnotized by Google into an unreal view of what running their own website means. Neither should they get stuck into a knee-jerk rejection of anything Google says. When anyone becomes 100% predictable in their comments, pro-Google or anti-Google, they just fell out of reality.

I like The_Shower_Scene's opening post a lot, because it's not just a rant, not just a whine. That gets old very fast. But it is a wake-up call for anyone who is not being critically observant of their own situation.

beren




msg:3334410
 1:21 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm genuinely amazed when I still meet people who are reasonably intelligent, but don't understand that Google charges for advertising and is a for profit company. The look on their faces reminds me of what children look like when they learn there really isn't a tooth fairy.

Really? I usually find the opposite. People assume websites pay to get top rankings in the organic rankings. They are mildly surprised when I tell them that isn't so.

What's really distressing is that there are plenty of people right here at webmasterworld who essentially want a system whereby webmasters can pay their way to the top - by buying links. I find it surprising and depressing that people embrace the link economy and think it's perfectly OK to buy and sell links.

webjourneyman




msg:3334411
 1:23 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think we will see the next level of 'finding stuff' on the internet from the social bookmarking sites.

Don't know about that one, at least not in current form, people arriving via those seem to be mostly killing time not searching for information. As much is apparent by how seldom they return, a blog/site that get's picked up that way has a huge spike in visitors for one post/article only and then returns to similar level. It's such a mixed blessing that there are guidelines on how to survive a dig on the server/bandwidth side.

But perhaps a system that calculates visitors into the algo in stead of backlinks and how long they stay, instead of backlinking PR? Maybe Apache should be moving into search.

Keniki




msg:3334413
 1:23 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thats the best post I ever seen on webmasterworld.From Tedster.

[edited by: Keniki at 1:24 am (utc) on May 9, 2007]

PaulPA




msg:3334419
 1:33 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Here are a few names to consider - Standard Oil, Bell Telephone, General Motors, Xerox, Kodak, Microsoft. All attained market dominance. But eventually the tide turned either due to market forces (which were forced to innovate to compete) or due to government regulation. As Google’s search position continues to grow they would appear to be creeping up to market dominance status (many think that is already the case).

It will be curious to see if the M-word (“monopoly”) begins to be uttered. But I suspect we are much more likely to see market forces affect things well before legislators see a reason to take action.

contentwithcontent




msg:3334420
 1:34 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google has even got you to rant. Nice post, but I disagree with you and agree with europeforvisitors in that the google webmaster guidelines are a great source of basic guidance. Are they "ethical" I don't know and don't care.
But I do know that if you follow the Google guidelines you don't make the big mistakes that others do.
The Google webmaster guidelines are no different in my mind then any set of recommendations on other websites on how to best interact with a site. Websites that give guidance to their users are great, the guidelines are Googles guidance to webmasters who wish to be ranked and included in their index.

The Shower Scene




msg:3334427
 1:39 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

1) Google's Webmaster guidelines are just common sense.

I don't understand your impulse to defend the guidelines. The guidelines are not under attack. What is under scrutiny here is webmasters tendency to equate Google's guidelines with Ethics.

2) If you don't like Google's common-sense guidelines, why get mad?

I never said I disliked the guidelines. Their guidelines are not under scrutiny here. And for the record, I'm not mad.

3) Why shouldn't Google employees hand out advice and invite feedback on their own (or Google's) blogs?

I am not criticizing their blogs or forums. The observation I am making is that the discussion on Official Google forums and Official Google Blogs is understandably going to be limited to what is good for Google. No surprise there, right? As fun and entertaining as Matt's blog is, you aren't going to walk away a better SEO from reading it. You will walk away with a better understanding of what Google wants you to do to make Google's life easier. It is evident that for many people that is enough, but that isn't SEO, nor is it SEM- it's doing things in a way that is convenient for Google.

Think about the tone and message of your own statement that "They are hijacking our dialogue and moderating it on the official Matt Cutts blog and their other Kool-Aid forums."

What reason is there for replicating on Google's servers what is already going on at WebmasterWorld, DP, TW, SEW, SERountable, and other sites? The net effect, whether by design or happy accident is that Google is controlling and moderating the webmaster dialogue. I'm not criticizing Google for it. Bully for Google for their ingenuity. I am not criticizing Google. What is under scrutiny here are the complacent webmasters who do not realize they are being fed what is convenient for Google.

If you were GoogleGuy, Matt Cutts, Adam Lasik, etc. (none of whom I've met, by the way), would you want to waste time talking to people who treat you with rudeness and disrespect?

Nobody is disrespecting them on this thread. The fact that the Google message has been so thoroughly adopted by webmasters is proof that their time has not been wasted.

[edited by: The_Shower_Scene at 1:44 am (utc) on May 9, 2007]

atlrus




msg:3334432
 1:45 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just like in the real world companies buy TV and print ads to get into people's heads, the webmasters buy links to get top position on Google. I see nothing strange, in this world the fact has always been - the one with the deepest pockets win.

The difference is that on the Internet there is a real chance for the small guy to make it big.

Why is Google bad? No, it's not Google's fault, it's Yahoo and MSN, and Ask etc. which are wrong. Google right now is the best, so if you rely on search engine traffic - put up or shut up.

I would even go as far as thanking Google for sending me thousands of FREE, 100%-FREE-NEVER-SPENT-A-DIME-FREE traffic every day, which I would not have had if there were no search engines. And I am willing to thank Yahoo and MSN and the rest if they would have just pulled their heads out of their a**es and invested some of that ad money back into their search engines.

So, yeah, put up or shut up.

tedster




msg:3334415
 1:32 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

The_Shower_Scene wrote:

Todays webmaster is so compliant, complacent, and utterly sheep-like they are willingly surrendering highly personal data to Google without understanding how it ultimately benefits Google far more than it benefits them. The toolbar was pretty invasive, but webmaster central is a shameless data grab.

I've been quite wary about this area - I never like anybody's brand of toolbar, including Google's. I'm extremely aware of whether I'm logged into a Google account or not - I don't want them looking at all my search habits.

I do appreciate the Webmaster Tools, but just to the point that the tools authenticate domain ownership and report back to me what Google already knows. I know of several big corporates who are extremely concerned about business espionage, but still use Google Analytics and even conversion tracking. Now that's some cognitive dissonance in my book.

Robert Charlton




msg:3334455
 2:01 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

The Shower Scene - Excellent first post... extremely thought provoking. Welcome to WebmasterWorld.

The situation is paradoxical in that both Google and the webmasters want it both ways.

Google would rather not have its algos affect what it's measuring on the web, but inevitably, in a competitive situation, the carrot of high rankings will influence what's out there.

Webmasters would rather not have Google force its model of the web upon them, and Google's model of the web is the web without the temptation of profit from Google rankings. It's an idealized vision, paradoxically funded by advertising.

We're expecting Google and Google reps to behave the way they did before Google became a wildly successful, major public corporation... and Google is apparently expecting us to behave the way it perhaps theorized we did before it became a wildly successful, major, public corporation.

The degree of Google's success is both admirable and frightening. The public dialogue isn't frank in either direction because of the amounts of money involved, and, as Shower Scene points out, because of the intellectual laziness of the discussion.

Many of us had hoped for at least a three-horse race. We've got instead a couple of stragglers led by one giant horse that some of us fear might be named Bro. It gallops along, I believe with the best of intentions, but is ultimately spurred ahead by the same mixture of human ambitions that drive us all. And maybe that's what's most frightening... or perhaps most encouraging... to those who share those instincts.

mattg3




msg:3334462
 2:34 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

So, yeah, put up or shut up.

Well as the weak partner in this Google enterprise a certain anti spin is probably better than waving the flag.. We as webmasters need Google to compete with others. By constantly singing their praise it doesn't get you anywhere.

On the other hand I made around $100.000 I think out of the whole thing, which was frankly unthought of prebust.

But in my business interest, Google needs to be weaker and Yahoo and MSN stronger. Diversity is key to any survival. In the moment I have money from offline business directorship and some freelance. Nice would be online diversity. Sadly though Yahoo and MSN are somewhere far far away.. At least in Europe.

Many whiners make an ocean... see it as counter spin.. :)

I have as far as I remember also never attacked the various Google employees, as they are employees and ground troups. Like in a call center you are dealing with someone that's sent by the management to eat the cr.p, not their personal fault. Sadly often as with call centres that's all the webmaster has. Google has choosen them as their voice. If you are dealing with millions of people it's I guess also a dangerous job. Personally I can only feel empathy with them, but on a business level they are Googles official voice. The sentence put up or shut up would equally apply to them in your scenario. Google rates websites, people rate them .. It's a critics job to be hated when he dishes out bad reviews. To be hated is part of their business and to be loved (*sigh*) if things run smoothly.

And that seems to be the part that dear Google and their algos forget, the more they update the more emotions they stir as they deal in people and not just content. As banal and obvious it seems the trivial truth that behind each website is a person.

More updates more emotions it's a simple algorithm ...

jonrichd




msg:3334470
 2:41 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

What reason is there for replicating on Google's servers what is already going on at WebmasterWorld, DP, TW, SEW, SERountable, and other sites? The net effect, whether by design or happy accident is that Google is controlling and moderating the webmaster dialogue.

I guess I don't see your point here. As am actor in the search engine space, Google has as much of a right to publish its opinions as do the other sources you mention. However, I don't see Google controlling the overall dialog by doing this. Yes, they control the dialog on their sites, but BT and mods control the dialog on this one.

It's like looking at the editorial pages of the New York TImes and the Wall Street Journal -- each expresses its own point of view, and they are often different. It's up to the reader --both of the newspapers and the various webmaster sites-- to use his or her critical thinking skills and past experience too judge the merits of the points made, and how to react to them.

Adam_Lasnik




msg:3334471
 2:43 am on May 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Okay, I am regularly reading WebmasterWorld and -- try as I might -- I can't forgo replying to this one ;-)

Google's Webmaster Guidelines are designed to help Webmasters and users

Avoid doorway pages. Don't put all your content into a big graphic. This stuff is good not only for users but also (probably obviously) for Webmasters, especially newer ones... who are likely to get their content better indexed and ranked by understanding a pretty clearly-articulated set of accessibility and user-centric guidelines.

Google doesn't censor its Webmaster forum for content*

...*unless you consider "Make Viagra Fast!1" or "$&@# you and your #$&!$% Mom!" to be content. Even a very, very cursory look will demonstrate that there are tons of posts from folks who love Google AND rants from people who unambiguously curse the very electrons we carry. The only folks we've ever banned, to my knowledge, were drive-by spammers. The only folks we've ever moderated (I personally have moderated four out of the many thousands of members in the last year, and only temporarily) were engaging in personal attacks.

I'll also mention that a quick look at Matt Cutt's blog will make it obvious that he's not specifically deleting comments that are (sometimes quite harshly) anti-Google. Off-topic comments -- as noted in his comments policy -- are, however, deleted.

We Googlers try to post where we can do the most good.

I think I can speak for many of us in noting that we like and respect WebmasterWorld. More than two dozen of us attended the last WebmasterWorld conference, for instance :-). But with that said, the forum does pose some daunting challenges:
- The no-URLs rule makes it tough for us to troubleshoot. I had to sticky a bunch of folks in the recent Toolbar-PR thread, for instance, to get more data for our engineers, and that's not the most efficient use of my time.
- In many threads that we've participated in, we've gotten more heat than conversation. Which brings me to the next point...

Casting aspersions on the INTENT of search engine reps and the search engines they represent isn't the best way to start or sustain a useful dialog.

Given that I've worn the 'hat' of a Webmaster, an SEM, an AdWords consultant, and now a Googler, I know and respect that there are many frustrations about Google. We're not perfect, and we have many things we want and expect to improve in how we communicate, how we do things. But if you start from the (frankly very erroneous) perspective that the interests of Google and Webmasters are completely at odds... that the conversations we DO have are grounded in ulterior motives... then there's really not much hope in further conversation, is there?

Completely depending on Google (or ANY limited set of sources) for your traffic is a recipe for unhappiness

And it makes me sad when I read, time after time, "I built up this great affiliate site on Widgets and I just hired two new employees... but now my Google traffic has dropped and my life is ruined!" Really? No one bookmarked your site? No one is talking about your site on blogs, in forums, on social media sites, on TV, on the radio, in your local community, at Widget conventions, in schools, in magazines, in newspapers, in e-mail, in chats, on IMs, in newsletters...? Where have you been, and what -- besides depending on free traffic -- have you been doing?!

We don't comment publicly on specific penalties.
While I do expect we'll share more in this area over time (we already do show penalties to many Webmasters in our Webmaster Tools), we've felt that weighing in on specific penalties just isn't likely to be helpful overall. When we've researched URLs of concerned Webmasters in this area, the majority haven't been manually penalized at all. Given the huge number of our algorithms and the complexity of their interactions, it's statistically certain that on any given day, some Webmasters' sites are going to be "moved" to [-x] for various keywords. Sadly, we rarely see "I just got the +42 boost!" from happy Webmasters because for some odd reason, they're just less likely to be posting on this scenario.

If you can't see the current and future value of Webmaster Central, you aren't paying attention.

Sure, I'm biased. Sure, I work closely with folks on the WC team. But if you honestly believe that getting crawling, indexing, penalty, and search info (and more) straight from, well, the source isn't valuable and isn't sincerely intended to assist Webmasters, there's really nothing I can say to convince you otherwise.

The fact that we have (and are currently hiring and ramping up many more) people around the world to build and maintain and document and extend these tools and work with Webmasters in other ways... it's either an affirmation of how we see Webmasters as important partners or it's an expensive and grand conspiracy and coverup. Surely, shower_scene, there'd be more efficient ways for us to gather information :P

And having seen the roadmap of Webmaster Central and met some of the newest Googlers in this area... I'll add that this is just the beginning.

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