| This 132 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 132 ( 1  3 4 5 ) > > || |
|Does Google Block Web Position Gold Ranking Reports?|
Has anyone else noticed that after years of threatening it appears that Google has now blocked WP Gold from reporting rankings through their tool? We called the WP support line and they said they are waiting for Google to 'do' something and have NO ETA has to when it will be fixed.
WebPosition and Google - The SAGA:
Penalise you for using webpostion gold: (April 2003)
Google and position checking software: (Jan 2003)
Whats the status of Google vs WPG Users? (July 2002)
What exactly gets banned using WebPositionGold; the website or the IP (June 2004)
Web Position Gold & Google IP bans (May 2009)
(sorry the org thread about google banning WPG from 1999-2000, was lost)
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 3:06 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2008]
[edit reason] added history links [/edit]
|marketingmagic: would be a huge burden on resources for us... |
I think that's Google's argument here as well...
|A long time ago, I learned that the ranking fixation is something I don't want to contend with. |
This insight have come after you selected your screenname at WW, eh?
(Let's face it folks: Real life doesn't offer up this kind of irony every day.)
I really like Google's model when it comes to interactions with webmasters. It's really just a Quid Pro Quo arrangement. They're willing to provide insights if we sign up for WMT.
Some of these automated tools are simply abusive. They'll query as many IP addresses as they can for information. These automated queries have to cost Google millions each year in additional infrastructure just to support these queries.
If these were our servers, we'd be ticked off too. Good for Google on this one!
Posted on SEORoundtable as well in response to questions about whether rankings are REALLY what we should be looking at:
I knew that I would get the 'I can't believe they still run ranking reports' comment. You are right, I am not so behind the times and am very, very clear with clients that it is NOT the measurement they should be using for tracking.
That said: in order to track organic, video, or image download or whatever that is not a paid search or online click you need the cooperation of a whole different group in the company. Sophisticated clients have most web marketing run out of marketing organizations with marketing budgets - they don't own IT or the traffic analysis packages. Some are using completely different systems to track marketing campaigns, of which search is a part, like marketfirst or eloqua. The in-house SEO people at these clients are in the marketing divisions now and we work with them. It is the sign of a mature company if SEO and Paid Search are all in marketing - but it creates other problems.
The best way to track organic is to tag the visitor in some way but because it is not tracked say with a dart tag or a Google adwords tag, which can be set up by marketing people at the campaign level, this tracking requires 'help' from a different division.
Executives need something that is highly visible, isn't just about numbers, and shows improvement or problems readily - thus rankings.
So, as we mature and move SEO away from the IT/developer crowd into the world of marketing campaigns we lose some of our ability to control the technical side of the business. I would rather it be part of marketing anyway.
How is this any different that an office of 1000 people all searching google at the same time, from the same IP?
Cause it happens daily and probably more often then someone using a ranking tool.
|Has anyone seen any official comment from Google about this? |
It's been in G's Webmaster Guidelines [google.com] for quite some time:
|Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google. |
Looks like it is still working from here.
It was good while it lasted and I hope to see something new from the big G on this soon.
I really don't get the reactions on this.
no one said a word about them relying on rank checkers for anything.
no one is 'fixated' on rankings either.
the discussion was about *rank checkers*, not *rank checking*. A kind of software, not the uses that some people ( back x years ago ) have put them to. A long time has passed.
today rank checking is a tool for creating reports on benchmark keywords to present the generic trends to non-techie / marketing people. A presentation of some simplified information.
these tools have no other real uses. Neither good nor bad and especially none compared to just jogging over to google.com and start querying by hand.
As for whether rankings are important or not... Sure they are. And of course they're not. Looking at generic trends, best performing phrase groups, terminology ...ranking can be an indicator on many things. Rankings for singled out keywords are not important.
And since Google controls a third of all traffic on the Western hemisphere, clients want to get as much marketing info as they can. They want to know where they rank for prestige, benchmark and important keywords that are included in half of all long tail traffic. It's not top priority or course, but saying that there is absolutely NO relation between ranking - traffic - conversions would be very silly.
downlplay the importance of trophy keywords right from the start, tell everyone about the real metrics, that it was about traffic, conversions, user experience. And yet - oh joy - everyone wants to know where we rank for [keyword of the year] x 50. If only for seeing a generic trend for terminology that their marketing uses, which they want people to use... etc.
I'd sure like to think Google knows better than thinking that wanting to know where you're at for these key phrases is black hat SEO. Currently it's a marketing-report tool - which is its only use - part of a much bigger picture and a substitute for something Google itself should have provided years ago. Either in Analytics or WMT or in AdWords.
|I'd sure like to think Google knows better than thinking that wanting to know where you're at for these key phrases is black hat SEO. |
How about we drop the hat nomenclature and just look at it from an "SEO" perspective. Why would Google allow "us" to query its database and take away resources that are best used for their visitors? That would be my very first question from a Google perspective.
Yes, it sure would be great if this were part of the services provided, but it is not. And I don't see any indication that it will be. There must be a reason for this, yes? Maybe to deter "us" from putting more pieces of the puzzle together? "My" common sense tells me that if I were in that Google department making decisions, you're not going to query the database with my permission. < Read between the lines.
|A substitute for something Google itself should have provided years ago. Either in Analytics or WMT or in AdWords. |
I agree! But they haven't, how come? Is this maybe a future "premium" service to be offered in beta sometime soon? Is this maybe the first "shot over the bow" as they say and we're being "groomed" for the upcoming services to be offered? Who knows? < Me "Tin Hat" is on. :)
HOW MUCH DOES GOOGLE HATE WPG?
|Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google. |
When Google references product or company names like that, there is no question left to be asked. Their message to WPG users is loud and clear. I believe it applies to other rank checking software too. WPG users are just the largest group of abusers.
|Is this maybe the first "shot over the bow" as they say and we're being "groomed" for the upcoming services to be offered? |
ah... pretty optimistic idea...
I think I'll go with this one for now.
*flips calendar to Xmas*
|How about we drop the hat nomenclature and just look at it from an "SEO" perspective. Why would Google allow "us" to query its database and take away resources that are best used for their visitors? That would be my very first question from a Google perspective. |
Assuming that use of resources is costly in terms of CPU time and usage (and bandwidth), taking it a step further, why would they be willing to spend money to, in effect, subsidize companies or individuals using any software for commercial purposes?
I'm just trying to figure out the logic between both sides of this argument, but I'm coming short on understanding what their obligation is to the users of any commercial software product.
|How is this any different that an office of 1000 people all searching google at the same time, from the same IP? |
It's probably more like an office of 100,000 people, all searching Google at the same time for millions of keywords and keyphrases. How often does that happen in real search?
I'm going to sort of go off topic for a moment.
I'm jumping back and forth between WebmasterWorld and other "places" discussing this. I'll have to tell you, this discussion far exceeds the quality that I'm seeing elsewhere, it really does.
I too would question the logic behind subsidizing those who provide these commercial products that basically violate the guidelines in many instances. It was great when the Google API first came out, things worked, most of the time, and the data was somewhat accurate. I think Google saw what was going on, how could it not, we were using their API keys and being tracked each and every time we used it. Its like the nofollow attribute, they tagged us and determined that we just can't be trusted with this type of access. When I say "we", I'm referring to all of those "except myself" who have abused the privileges. Just kidding!
I'm sure this topic has just increased the downloads for many of the competing WPG products. Actually, when Google first changed the guidelines to what it reads now, that was a field day for third party rank checking software. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the day those changes in the Google guidelines were announced, quite a few got a very "fat wallet" in a short period of time. Now its time to fatten it up some more.
But, are your products working now? For how much longer? What happens when they stop working? Is the software still of value. Or, is it just a rank checking program? < Those will be RIP.
Has WebTrends recovered their initial expenditure for the purchase of WPG? If so, then RIP for that one too. I have a feeling that if you want accurate analytics in the near future, Google is the one that will be giving it to us. They do a pretty good job of it now and have taken our focus away from rank checking. Thank you!
definitely not working now.
looking forward to hearing something from Mountain View (or wherever HQ is) on this sooner rather than later.
|Posted on SEORoundtable as well in response to questions about whether rankings are REALLY what we should be looking at: |
Only there? I seem to recall reading the exact "cut and paste" reply at a few places. Those replies might have a little more "umph" if they were personalized to the audience instead of a "cut and paste" wherever the discussion is taking place.
By the way, it is SE Roundtable, not SEO Roundtable. The SE being short for Search Engine. I'm sure Barry wouldn't like the "O" in there. :)
My name is Scott Goodyear. I work over at WebPosition. I love the conversations around topics like this.
Let me clarify: --- Google is not blocking WebPosition. --- So, nothing to get confirmation from Google about...
Google and other engines change their HTML output from time to time. In turn, companies that produce rank checking software have to update their software from time to time so that the software can continue to check rankings. Pretty simple problem on the surface. A bit more of a bear to tackle when you have to write the code and update it every time they make changes to the code they output. Multiply that by the number of engines that the software supports and that work grows...
As for rank checkers in general, everyone has different opinions. I admit that I'm probably biased here, but I don't think that rank reports are an end all be all to working with your clients. But I also don't think that you should ignore ranking info either.
Why do you think Walmart has their massive data center? [eweek.com...]
I doubt that it is 100% correct even if they strive to be. Because they are looking for trends, correlations, etc. so that they can do what they do best, sell products. I'm sure that some of their decisions are based on info from their data center but I'm also sure that they watch industry trends, shipping costs, silicon shortages in the east, etc. in order to make some very informed decisions... Whether you are pro or con for Walmart, you gotta admit they have a lot of data to wade through in order to make business choices. Have they been successful doing what they do?
Ranking reports are not 100% accurate even when ranking tools pull data in. The arguments that people make regarding rank checkers could just as easily be made for PPC. I would think that data is not useful unless you are proficient in using it and actually use it to make decisions.
Anyway... </soap box> we are working on an update right now. When you think that WP is being blocked, please ask instead of jumping to conclusions.
Bringing a little levity here, thanks to IMDB and Office Space:
Tom Smykowski: It was a "Jump to Conclusions" mat. You see, it would be this mat that you would put on the floor... and would have different CONCLUSIONS written on it that you could JUMP TO.
Michael Bolton: That's the worst idea I've ever heard in my life, Tom.
Samir: Yes, this is horrible, this idea.
;) If you asked yesterday or today, but haven't gotten a reply yet, we are working to reply to your email as well. I know that all emails were cleared up through Tuesday...
[edited by: tedster at 10:37 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2008]
Oh also to add some thing new to this conversation... and mind you, this is from me, not the company I work at...
Some were saying why should Google subsidize "us" (seos and marketers I assume) and the bandwidth that we are using up...
Well, is that not the same argument that ISPs are using against sites like Google regarding their high bandwidth usage? Doesn't Google support Net Neutrality?
"Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. The Internet has operated according to this neutrality principle since its earliest days. Indeed, it is this neutrality that has allowed many companies, including Google, to launch, grow, and innovate. Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online. Today, the neutrality of the Internet is at stake as the broadband carriers want Congress's permission to determine what content gets to you first and fastest. Put simply, this would fundamentally alter the openness of the Internet."
Google is a network and provides services much like say AOL and other ISPs. They subsidize your visit to their sites with ads on their network of sites. You have to go through quite a lot of hoops not to see their ads... whether you click or not is up to you, but still not "free" either. They are a commercial entity that wants equal throughput as any other site. I think that rank checkers deserve the same consideration from Google. Old news but... Yahoo was blocked by Google: [blog.wired.com...]
They blocked Yahoo by IP address, presumably due to large volumes of searches via Pipes.
Who do you think runs up more identifiable bandwidth from Google? Some Joe in his house, on a DSL line, running a ranking tool or Yahoo? Although I don't agree that Google is blocking WP... if they were blocking WP... (and they do mention WP as just one example of an automated tool) is this neutral when you can go to Yahoo and use pipes for similar purposes?
Hello scottg, Welcome to WebmasterWorld!
We all thank you for joining in the discussion. I've a bit to do at the moment but I do have one question while I get caught up. Why is it that Google has singled out WPG in their official online documentation?
|Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google. |
|And they do mention WP as just one example of an automated tool. |
Ummm, the "only" example I've seen since what, 2003 was it? :(
scottg, I really do hope you fix it. I do believe there are some people getting very ill at this moment. And I do mean "very ill". So please, fix it quickly. It's like Twitter being down or something. It's bad. People are talking about it all over the place. It's viral...
Who knows, maybe Google will make an apology on the Google Blog after all is said and done with.
Hi Scott Goodyear,
I have good memories of wpg.
It was the first seo forum I found.
You know what would be great?
If you could dig up the old forum material and re-publish it. I believe Susan was the moderator back then.
Seriously, it would be a blast from the past.
It might take some editing, but could be a good time shot of seo.
|Seriously, it would be a blast from the past. |
I have two unique pieces of history from WPG. I was probably in that first group of WPG users way back when and generated a few thousands Gateway Pages. < Oh my, those words haven't passed my lips in quite some time, shame on me! Ooops, we call them Landing Pages now and they look nicer.
Those two unique items? The blueline.jpg and the blulinenew.gif, in that order. The blueline.jpg was probably the largest footprint of WPG users in the beginning. Many of us customized the pages and stripped those lines but there were a whole bunch who did not and AltaVista busted em' big time! Millions of pages gone overnight!
And yes, they are the original files dug up from an old archived working copy of WPG which I can't find now. I have it somewhere in me CD collection which is in the shed, in a safe. I'm going to auction that copy of WPG off one day. :)
Do you remember when Scott Math[something] jumped into wpg and few other forums, did a bait and switch, with the single reason to disrupt the forums?
minnapple, I don't but I'm over at archive.org right now taking a walk down memory lane.
When did WPG launch? It was before 1998 wasn't it? Man, me memory is not what it used to be, it really isn't. Or is it? :)
|"WebPosition Gold 1.0: first Web site promotion software to shift balance of power from search engines to marketers." |
Dec 06, 1998 - [web.archive.org...]
OH WAIT! What is this?
FAQ: WebPosition Gold Banned by Google
Look at the title of that page. Search G for WebPosition Gold. That's too phunny. Also, look what they state on that page...
|Even Webposition Gold does not work with Google, the software still works very well with other major search engines. Google is just one of hundreds of search engines. |
Emphasis mine! Does not work with Google? Works very well with other major search engines? Google is just one of hundreds of search engines? Is that naivety?
Is that a Parody Site? Did I just get "snookered" as they say. Please tell me I did. If I didn't, why are we even having this discussion? I'm starting to wonder now. You know what happens when I start to wander. ;)
I like the girl in the upper right, she is cute.
We should really stop having fun now on wpg cred.
Thanks for the replies. I've been with WebPosition for 4 years now. If there is an archive of the old forums, it is not something that I have available. If it's that old, probably not good to dredge it up anyway. Things that were OK then may not be OK today. And I would guess that some have not adapted with the times.
If some one has an old URL to those forums, perhaps try digging over at archive.org
I'm not sure what the deal is with [1stplacesoft.com...]
But the bits that they put on their site are not something that we would say.
You can find our URLs at:
Other than those two, anything else is a reseller or something else.
I think people get a little hung up on the whole doorway/gateway/whatever concept. A little blast from the past, 2002, and Brent Winters' crew via: [marketposition.com...]
|8. DON'T BUILD BAD DOORWAYS: Ask any search engine what they think of doorway pages, and their first reaction will often be negative. If they think you're optimizing your page, the immediate fear is whether you're going to go too far, or do something to hurt the search experience for their visitors. Therefore, it's a good idea to avoid the use of the term doorway page, gateway page, or any of half a dozen other terms when communicating to a search engine. |
...What it really boils down to is not what you call the page, but what type of content the page contains and how you choose to promote it.
Thinking back then and looking at today... still pretty decent advice. To throw a wrinkle in this, would you guys consider optimized, made for the engines, Adwords "landing pages" that much different than "doorway pages".
[edited by: tedster at 10:31 am (utc) on Aug. 13, 2008]
[edit reason] shorten quote, per 'fair use' [/edit]
|I'm not sure what the deal is with www.1stplacesoft.com but the bits that they put on their site are not something that we would say. |
Hmmm, a rogue affiliate? I was searching Google for WebPosition Gold Banned and that was what I found. It "looked" close enough to what I'd expect to find based on me previous use of the program way back when.
Okay, so someone has a Parody site out there that you may want to look into, some Reputation Management as they call it in Social Media.
Now, back to me original question. Why have Google singled out WPG in their "official documentation" on this matter?
|You can find our URLs at: |
Ooops! Goes to show you the last time I looked, my apologies. Think of me as a clueless consumer. ;)
I'm too tired to rant about this.
Besides, miamacs does a better (read: more civil) job of explaining my opinions anyways.
Just one point - Rank checking doesn't matter?!
That's a laughable argument so full of holes i could spend 3 threads on it. Let's just rephrase that statement to see how silly it is.
"Google makes billions of dollars getting you to CARE (and bid) about your Adwords ranking"
(Now, please insert your own logic into this analogy to understand why 50% of the comments in this thread are complete nonsense)
What I really want to know is: can I link to my nationally recognized brand name sites in this thread? ;)
|What I really want to know is: can I link to my nationally recognized brand name sites in this thread? |
Sure - just get Google to make bad official comments about you in their Guidelines - and then get them to punish you. That will make your product news, too ;)
You're right that we're making a major exception to our usual policies in this thread. Having the brand name in the thread title, for starters. But that's where the "News" is and we felt it was necessary to make an exception so the discussion could be direct, and WebPosition Gold certainly deserved some space to address this move by Google.
But from here on - the Google Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com] is in full effect. No more links to WPG related pages. We will be ruthless ;)
I'm a long-time reader, but have never felt compelled to actually sign-up and post until today. I don't know where some of the regulars I see here find the time to post so often!
Firstly, pageoneresults has pretty much summed up my thoughts on this topic. Thanks Page1, you've saved me a lot of typing!
Secondly, Whitenight: nothing in this thread is related to Adwords. The tools being discussed are for queering Google for organic search rankings. I'm sure when people have stated that "rankings are not important" they are only referring to organic results. Of course ranking paid ads is important, but Google provides tools to clearly show you that information.
Finally, our company has already shifted our focus from selling what I consider "basic SEO" to selling a complete marketing service of which SEO is simply one component. Our progress and success is measured, not in terms of rankings, but in terms of how our efforts translate into quality traffic, conversions and revenue/leads for the client. End of story.
Really, how useful is it to rank a site #1 for a term seldom searched for, or to rank a site with poor content, or a weak "call to action"? These are practices of the past and unfortunately practices which has given SEO such a negative reputation with many businesses who have be "taken" in the past.
Conversions are what clients want, and executive will understand. It means more to their bottom line than where they rank for a keyword a surfer may, or may not, search for.
@Snaptech and others...
I brought up PPC because I was trying to make a point. You get data from Google either directly from Google or through various third party tool that pull the date from Google in official or un-official ways, add it to the data you get from analytics, etc. The point is... you get the data. It's there to grab.
@tedster... I agree, we can omit brand names and such moving forward as this is moving in a different direction. I appreciate being able to post mine though... seeing as how 1) mine was used in the first place, 2) the title is still misleading, as the big G is not blocking it, 3) there are still people that will take anything I write or that the read from this thread and still think that G is "blocking" us, when they are not.
@pageoneresults "Now, back to me original question. Why have Google singled out WPG in their "official documentation" on this matter?"
That is an excellent question. I've been bugging Matt and co. about this for a while now. From Matt's blog because he won't email me privately about it...
July 15, 2008 @ 6:01 pm
“But overall Matt, is WebPosition “banned” from Google?”
Scott, the reason that WebPosition is mentioned in our guidelines is because of the sheer quantity of unwelcome queries that WP Gold used to send to Google to scrape Google’s rankings. I think we already covered this though.
This has a link over to here:
I have to thank Matt for responding, but he never answers the "why only this one company" part anytime I post a question to him. I'm guessing that short of working at Google, we'll never know. And even then... It makes me wonder if it's something like the (unnamed online news outlet banned because their reporter googled and wrote about public details of G's CEO...) grudge. But then again Google now says that there is no privacy... Who knows, it really makes my head spin and I'm just some noob in a cube.
|the title is still misleading, as the big G is not blocking it |
Well, some people are reporting that they are blocked. So to be fair to everyone's reports, I've changed the title of this thread into a question.
| This 132 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 132 ( 1  3 4 5 ) > > |