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Does Google Block Web Position Gold Ranking Reports?
webmama




msg:3716069
 9:17 pm on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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:

Backround history:

Penalise you for using webpostion gold: (April 2003)
[webmasterworld.com...]

Google and position checking software: (Jan 2003)
[webmasterworld.com...]

Whats the status of Google vs WPG Users? (July 2002)
[webmasterworld.com...]

What exactly gets banned using WebPositionGold; the website or the IP (June 2004)
[webmasterworld.com...]

Web Position Gold & Google IP bans (May 2009)
[webmasterworld.com...]

(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]

 

whitenight




msg:3724510
 4:26 pm on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Disclaimer: I don't personally use WPG. I care because of the principle of the matter

graywolf, whitenight, it's not spin at all.

By definition, everything is "spin". It just a matter of how much and for whom, to whom

MC,
if there's a Goog heaven you'll definitely make it. :P

As always, my gripe with how you handle things is the basic flaw in the understanding of YOUR relationship to US (webmasters)

Mr. Schmidt was on MadMoney the other day swooning over his love of CONTENT PROVIDERS. And then goes on to mention the NYT as an example?! What?!

Do you guys at the plex still not realize WEBMASTERS/SEOs are both your source AND your customers?!
And I'm talking about the same webmasters who think they need WPG to check their rankings every 4 hours...
THOSE are the webmasters writing topics on boring, obscure, silly, or unique content (read - not national news, gossip, or sports) that makes YOUR company so profitable.

I can seriously get updates on the War, Paris Hilton, and Yankees scores ANYWHERE. And rest assured, people NEVER needed Google for that.

What YOUR CUSTOMERS do need Google for, is the new page some smart SEO just wrote that people keep looking for information on, while Google keeps feeding up broad, unsatisfactory, or off-topic pages from Wiki, Answers.com (more scraped content), or A NYT article from 3 years ago.

It's the SEO community that's going to write the most comprehensive, thorough, user-friendly, etc page on any given subject precisely because we know what BOTH Goog wants and the CUSTOMERS want.
(and yes, most small time webmasters are going to CHECK if that page is ranking)

When are you guys over there, going to realize this?!...

And start working WITH US, to "make the world a better place" (quoting Mr. Schimdt) instead of perceiving every SEO activity as a "threat to your business model"

It's Neanderthal thinking (every Goog employee should be required to read Ken Wilber's work). Google itself works as an advanced-form of business BUT THEN you make the ultimately fatal mistake of slipping back into US vs. THEM thinking with everyone outside of Goog.

MattCutts




msg:3724611
 9:41 pm on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

whitenight, if my reply came across as us vs. them, then I apologize for that. I just wanted to communicate that bots/worms/scrapers can put a serious load on our servers, so we do have to put some protection in place so that we can return search results as fast as users want them.

whitenight




msg:3724626
 10:13 pm on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

lol, ok Matt ;)

[edited by: tedster at 10:33 pm (utc) on Aug. 16, 2008]

tedster




msg:3724663
 11:51 pm on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

As you might imagine, Webmaster World also has its major struggles with bots and scrapers. As some may remember, we even banned all bots, including search engines, for a while at one point. So we have at least an inkling of the problem that must be scaled up enormously for Google.

Where is the middle ground? What can meet the needs of webmasters and the companies they hire?

Perhaps at least some enhancements to Webmaster Tools - DEPENDABLE enhancements, please - would be a good development. I rarely use automated rank checking, but when I do it's usually for analysis of important traffic anomalies.

Given the complexity of today's SERPs worldwide, something like average position of major search terms would be good. And a heads up report on dramatic position shifts would be dynamite. Hey, a guy can dream, right?

Maybe an "impressions" report, rather than a ranking report would be a possibility.

MattCutts




msg:3725050
 7:09 pm on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

tedster, I agree that offering some tools like that (perhaps as part of the webmaster console) would be helpful.

paybacksa




msg:3725123
 10:30 pm on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

matt, how do you explain blocking manual queries like site: queries? That "automated query" message is being delivered for non-automated queries as well.

There's more to this than blocking WPG and automated queries.

SnaptechSEO




msg:3725678
 4:37 pm on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

paybacksa: possibly you have a larger issue. I have had no problem at all doing manual "site:" or "link:" queries. In fact, I just tried several on Google.com and .ca.

randle




msg:3725745
 5:45 pm on Aug 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don’t have a dog in this fight; haven’t used ranking reports since I used to care about key word density and buying hyphenated key word rich domains. But, it’s an interesting thread and I, and I’m sure many others, have wondered for some time how WPG goes on about its profitable business despite being openly branded as the poster child of rank checking by Google themselves.

But then we're a bit different - we limit the search phrases to a sensible number, we limit the search depth to 30, we limit the report frequency and we query as politely as we can. Software will let you query with no limit (leaving Google to set its limits by ip blocks or whatever), whereas we set limits on our customers to what we deem to be a sensible level.

If I were WPG, I would read the above quote from karlwales a few times over as there are some key elements to be gleaned from it. Words like “sensible”, “limit”, and my favorite, “politely” are concepts you might want to inject into the philosophy behind your relationship with Google.

You can argue the merits of rank checking, and whether people have some inalienable right to constantly run these queries, but at the end of the day WPG exists at the pleasure of Google. Their pretty bright people and if they wanted to stop what you’re doing I’m sure they could. If the end did come, you can’t say they haven’t been pretty darn clear on what they think about what you’re doing.

Maybe tone it down a little and just try and keep your selves in the big G’s good graces. Is that right? I don’t know but it’s their search engine and your customers are paying you for reports displaying their Google positions, not Ask’s.

p.s. scottg, appreciate you coming on and posting, nothing worse than the sound of silence from the other side; well done.

supafresh




msg:3726312
 1:29 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

@ Tedster

Perhaps at least some enhancements to Webmaster Tools - DEPENDABLE enhancements, please - would be a good development. I rarely use automated rank checking, but when I do it's usually for analysis of important traffic anomalies.

Given the complexity of today's SERPs worldwide, something like average position of major search terms would be good. And a heads up report on dramatic position shifts would be dynamite. Hey, a guy can dream, right?

Maybe an "impressions" report, rather than a ranking report would be a possibility.

Average Postion / Traffic impressions ect is already given in webmaster tools via Top Queries and Top Clicks.

What is needed is the ability to track keyword performance. My site ranks on over 300,000 keywords but i only track maybe just over 100 of them.

If i had the ablity in webmaster tools to tell them what keywords to track along with Top Queries and Top Clicks it would be a very powerful tool.

sc0ttkclark




msg:3726537
 6:53 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've been keeping track of Google's html formatting on their search result pages. The day that WPG stopped working for Google Ranking was the day I noticed Google had made a change to their code that could have been the reason why WPG stopped working initially. Am I wrong?

scottg




msg:3726633
 9:43 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

@Matt Thanks for posting here, assuming it's you, lol. Again... why list -only- WP when there are other/similar services out there. And why put a name against this policy in the first place. In one post you said that it was because WP helped push so many searches through Google. But this is still a cop out and not answering the question. Why list only WP - my competitors are doing much of the same thing, if not using more resources.

In the same vein, why not list some of the link brokers when you guys talk about selling links? What is the real difference between buying links to improve your rankings in Google vs. checking your rankings to see how your optimization/linkbait/radio or tv marketing/adwords or other activities are working out to get the word spread about your site and get people talking and thus... increase your visibility in the search results.

When you talk about cloaking, why not list some of the cloaking software manufacturers? There are certainly "good" and "bad" cloaking activities.

Do you see how this is a bit odd yet? For some reason you -never- answer this question and you never list competitors of WP.

@Randle Actually, I had a post talking about that over in Google groups and one of the admins said that it was inappropriate to talk about "what is excessive" over at Google groups. (I remember Google buying Deja, but is Google Groups not plugged into Usenet? Who rules Usenet? I'm probably wrong here, but I thought that Google Groups was just a souped up Usenet interface.) We also have a few things that pop up in the software to warn you if we think you are going over board, I've put similar wording into a quick start video that I put together, I tell people that by phone/email, etc. And as I note in that another older post at Google Groups... I've tried to contact Google as per Matt's suggestion in order to figure out if there are any things that we can do to be friendlier to Google in how WP queries. Several months and counting... no official replies yet.

At the end of the day, there are some who -honest to goodness- just want to check a dozen keywords once a week or once a month. I can't tell you the number of churches, realtors, musicians, etc. that use WP for this simple reason. They are not consuming some huge amount of bandwidth from Google. And whether they made all of these searches in one go, via a tool, or over the course of the day and by hand, it is the same volume of search. But the Google Guidelines message is broad in that its talks about searches in general with automated tools. And it is specific in naming WP. I remember and old "google guy" post where it was said that checking a few rankings probably wasn't that big of a deal...

Surely this can not be the burden that Matt claims it to be.

On the other hand, there are agencies that use WP... There are mega-corps/household names that use WP... There are reps at search engines that use WP against other engines... you name it... They do this to check rankings see how their marketing efforts are going... They'll use WP, a competitor, or create their own tool. They'll use one IP or several. WP is just one tool and one way to do it.

As Matt notes in one of the groups posts... I mentioned a few competitive services and he confirmed that action was taken against one of them but he didn't name them. He also didn't add them to the guidelines page. Why the bias?

===
By the way... I have an update going out today which should improve things for WP users...

pageoneresults




msg:3726649
 10:10 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Again... why list -only- WP when there are other/similar services out there.

I believe the reason was given a few replies back. At this point, does it matter? There are rather large pointy projectiles flying over bows, hint, hint...

And why put a name against this policy in the first place.

Did you say First Place. Was that a pun? :)

In one post you said that it was because it helped push so many searches through Google. But this is still a cop out and not answering the question. Why list only WP - my competitors are do much of the same thing.

Oh-oh, BOOM! Me thinks that might have been the straw that broke the camel's back as they say. Are you sure you're authorized to respond to these topics at the public level? I'd say you were digging a fairly deep hole for the WPG product, what's left of it.

In the same vein, why not list some of the link brokers when you guys talk about selling links? What is the real different between buying links to improve your rankings in Google vs. checking your rankings to see how your optimization/linkbait/radio or tv marketing/adwords or other activities are working out to get the word spread about your site and get people talking and thus... increase your visibility in the search results.

Heh! Ouch! Man, this could get rather interesting. If I recall my WPG days, pre 2K, running reports, tweaking, running reports, tweaking some more, could get you pageoneresults all day long. Do ya think there might be some animosity there between the search engines and the users and abusers of your program? Heck, I remember the first time I used it. I checked everything, dropped in a few thousand keywords and let it rip. Did that for quite some time too. It was fun to see all those 1's and 2's in the reports. Kept everyone happy too.

When you talk about cloaking, why not list some of the cloaking software manufacturers? There are certainly "good" and "bad" cloaking activities.

No he didn't! Wow, you're on a roll dude, I like you! ;)

Do you see how this is a bit odd yet? For some reason you -never- answer this question and you never list competitors of WP.

No need to list any competitors. WP is the Poster Child of Rank Checking Programs. You only need the one as an example. :)

I've tried to contact Google as per Matt's suggestion in order to figure out if there are any things that we can do to be friendlier to Google in how WP queries. Several months and counting... no official replies yet.

There probably won't be one either. It's been a long, long time and WPG has been an added plus for many. Maybe Google has finally decided that its time to release their own version? Time to start breaking the current tools at which time those users will flock to Google's new release? ;)

At the end of the day, there are some who -honest to goodness- just want to check a dozen keywords once a week or once a month.

Emphasis mine. Ya, you are correct, there are always honest to goodness users. But hey, you're talking about SEO here. Those users are far outnumbered by the sheer number of abusers. Google knows that too. You watch, I think they are up to something in reference to analytics and rank checking. I don't think we'll ever see a WPG clone from them but maybe something a bit more in tune with existing analytics and takes the consumer's focus away from rank checking. It's a resource hog in the nth degree.

I can't tell you the number of churches, realtors, musicians, etc. that use WP for this simple reason.

Pulling the Religious card eh? Not fair! ;)

But the Google Guidelines message is broad in that its talks about searches in general with automated tools. And it is specific in naming WP. I remember and old "google guy" post where it was said that checking a few rankings probably wasn't that big of a deal.

You might want to search for that post and provide a reference here in your next reply. That would be helpful. It is really difficult to see the light up there. You know, the entrance to the hole you started digging a little while back. Don't worry, we'll get ya out somehow.

Surely this can not be the burden that Matt claims it to be.

Probably not but it is the best "public excuse" to fend off all the fodder. I wonder if they do it because you charge your customers for the service but don't pay Google for scraping their SERPs? And NO! You are not getting permission to do so based on the topcis about this over the many years. :(

On the other hand, there are agencies that use WP.

Whatever you do, don't start naming any names. Let's just keep it to WPG as that is the primary topic of discussion.

They'll use one IP or several. WP is just one tool and one way to do it.

And they will continue to do so. The larger users will probably be facing continual challenges moving forward. At some point, they will be a thing of the past. Google will figure out a way to monetize that side of search.

He also didn't add them to the guidelines page. Why the bias?

Heh! You just haven't gotten it yet, huh? Think Poster Child. ;)

By the way... I have an update going out today which should improve things for WP users.

Matt is at SES right now and I'm sure he's reading as time permits. Give them 24-48 to counter your update. :(

Hey, if you want to keep snitchin' on yourself, I'll tag along. It's all in jest. ;)

makemetop




msg:3726668
 10:50 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Reading this thread is a real echo of the past. There are some older about WPG - but this one from 2002 shows Google's consistent attitude to WPG.

[webmasterworld.com...]

Read the responses from GoogleGuy!

[edited by: tedster at 11:20 pm (utc) on Aug. 19, 2008]
[edit reason] fix link [/edit]

whitenight




msg:3726672
 11:20 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Surely this can not be the burden that Matt claims it to be.

Probably not but it is the best "public excuse" to fend off all the fodder. I wonder if they do it because you charge your customers for the service but don't pay Google for scraping their SERPs?

Come on PageOne! where's your tinhat?!
Since this is the GOOGLE board and not the WPG board, i hope i'll have some latitude while staying completely on topic....
This has absolutely nothing to do with bandwidth. Give me a flying break!

As soon as people start focusing on the REAL issue here instead of WPG's silly little "public banning", then maybe we can get to the core nonsense here.
Which of course, affect all webmasters, not just WPG users!

graywolf




msg:3727180
 2:16 pm on Aug 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

of course you could also make everybody happy by giving us a an API (not the wonkadoodle ajax one) that gives the EXACT SAME DATA that's on the live system (not different, close, or wonkadoodle data) just send all of the requests to non public servers. Give people a reasonable number of free requests, but charge for requests above and beyond. We get what we want and aren't artificially inflating load causing issues for you, everybody is happy (assuming of course server load is your real issue here).

You could make a requirement for getting an API belongign to webmaster central.

sc0ttkclark




msg:3727195
 2:39 pm on Aug 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yahoo does this, but it's not accurate and doesn't actually include Social Media results / News / Etc data. I hope Google does a better job with representing search data correctly.

ESPECIALLY the issue with if you have 50 results per page vs 10 results per page -- you are more likely to get multiple sub-results per parent result which throws off the 'ranking' check results and could lead to further inaccuracies in reporting.

scottg




msg:3727277
 4:00 pm on Aug 20, 2008 (gmt 0)


1) good/bad cloaking:
"Cloaking: Serving different content to users than to Googlebot. This is a violation of our webmaster guidelines. If the file that Googlebot sees is not identical to the file that a typical user sees, then you're in a high-risk category. A program such as md5sum or diff can compute a hash to verify that two different files are identical."
[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

"Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as "cloaking.""
[google.com...]

2) "...if you want to keep snitchin' on yourself..."
Lol. I've read that Google charges 30-40k a year just for day care services. I'm sure that $389 is a huge hurdle to them just buying WP or competitor programs, and running it to see if it is working or not.

While I can't tell you who owns WP, lets just say that a wide, wide variety of customers own WP.

pageoneresults




msg:3727278
 4:05 pm on Aug 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

scottg, you're good at avoiding the topic at hand. Can we get back on topic please? This discussion has nothing at all to do with Cloaking, you've interjected that one in here as an example and it doesn't apply.

While I can't tell you who owns WP, lets just say that a wide, wide variety of customers own WP.

If that is the case, there be a bunch of people right now considering their options. Keep or sell? I'd probably sell while the gettin' is somewhat there.

scottg, wouldn't it be nice if Google would just offer you guys/gals a $100 million or so and be done with it? That would stop all this mumbo jumbo. :)

randle




msg:3727396
 5:09 pm on Aug 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

"what is excessive"

scottg; Try Running the data if possible and find out. If you plotted every query run by your customers you’re going to get some sort of curve; some run light reports infrequently, and others massive ones every day, and right smack in the middle is the mean. Somewhere at the top of the spectrum is the “excessive” activity; you will probably find a small number of folks are responsible for a higher than normal percentage of total queries.

I might spend my time trying to speak with your customers that fall into the high end of the spectrum about throttling back, say as opposed to spending time posting on boards like this just calling Google out, and accusing them of indiscriminately picking on you. I admire your spunk, I really do, but from just a living in the real world business perspective, I think your living on the edge; as the old saying goes screw with the bull long enough, eventually you get the horns.

Good luck, and definitely keep us posted.

driller41




msg:3727936
 9:40 am on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

So what is the future for this piece of software - is it now dead in the water and no longer worth buying?

moehits




msg:3728487
 12:22 am on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)


Is anyone experiencing this with WebCEO too? I'm getting no results today from Google on 3 different machines in different locations.

sc0ttkclark




msg:3728512
 1:57 am on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

@moehits - Google has been changing their formatting around this month. It's messing up all the scrapers probably with no exceptions.

Miamacs




msg:3728869
 2:46 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

...

uh... dear Matt, please try to squeeze out some official comments on this from your superiors?

Not 'just about' WPG but also about knowing your rankings in general.
( not 3rd pary software but the actual knowledge, the data )

You know I'm getting tired ( literally ) with not being able to communicate frankly with Google on this issue. We're being serious here can't you tell? *heh*
( And this seems the right opportunity after all these years )

While I even might believe you, that you think that the biggest problem is bandwidth... that'd be a personal opinion ( one of many on this thread ) and not an official statement from the PR department. Furthermore, even if it was, the obvious solutions to that have been stated above enough times. Google could offer a working tool to users through any of its services, or a back-end mirror of the SERPs just like it tried to do with the SOAP API. The API that it pulled - not only without PRIOR but also without ANY notice for an entire month!

Here's the deal, it's really not that complicated:

- People/businesses WILL check their rankings
- Actually they're doing so in this very moment
- It's an obvious necessity to know at least generic trends
- Also, they have a right to know, it's data on THEM
- The data is publicly available anyway
- People have to automate this task, querying by hand is not a solution
- Google doesn't have an official tool (yet)
- Which by itself is already NONSENSE
- From a legal aspect I'd even call this hardship on aquiring the data an outrage, pardon me
- But even so, we don't have time for this
- People will use 3rd party software in the meantime
- They HAVE TO, this is not some prank, neither is illegal nor unethical in any way
- some people abuse these software? yet another reason to have an official tool
- Now, there is obviously something upsetting these software
- Google wouldn't even say if they're doing this on purpose

"Dear Google.
What can you say about all that?"

...

And frankly now. No 'excuses', only the real thing.
That's all I ask, for communications to be official and honest.
( Not you Matt, I believe you were honest already. )

Is it just a coincidence that the poor 3rd party scripts can't understand the SERPs anymore? Then SAY SO.

Is Google going to provide the long-awaited tool sometime *very* soon? In WMT to check one's own rankings up to top 100 for e.g. 100 keywrods? We'd be so glad, so why don't you SAY SO?

Or is it official that Google doesn't want ANYONE TO KNOW THEIR OWN RANKINGS and while not providing their own tool, they go out of their ways to make such tasks impossible even through 3rd party software? OK then SAY SO. Officially.

Let me start the honest talk here.
All cards on table.

I have some clients, all hard working companies, some of which Google has even been in direct business talks with.

I have a lot of work to do, all white hat, accessibility, usability, SE compliance, information architecture and marketing stuff to keep their listings above ( forget competitors ) all the illegitimate, shaky, grey-zone SEO and SPAM results some of the SERPs cough up. And in the meantime, I have reports to submit to the board which - what a surprise - include organic ranking trends for some keywords. Usually this is a request from the client, and not my preference.

Not being able to do so - honestly, doing searches by hand is cool for hobby/mom'n'pop sites but not in these cases - I'll be sure to tell them the actual reasons *I* can think of.

If we don't get straight answers after asking on such forums - you know, I consider Webaster World a buffer zone in this case -, not even a blog post as a reaction, we might ask the same question next time in a more formal way... which is obvioulsy out of character for me.

...

Note that I'm exaggerating somewhat. This issue isn't this grave.
But as you and everyone else here knows, Google drives a lot of traffic, and rankings - obviously - are related. Forget reverse engineering. We just want to know. We need to know.

And for a task this tiny, it sure became irritating to deal with because the lack of a working official tool.

Let's make life less complicated.
This entire issue shouldn't be such a big deal, and yet it is.

randle




msg:3728956
 4:56 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

That's all I ask, for communications to be official and honest.

A frank and honest discourse is good.

Forget reverse engineering. We just want to know. We need to know.

Why do you need to know? Suppose you run a report and (your customers site I take it) comes up in position # 28 for the key word “widgets”; what then? What specific role does the reporting functionality play in what you do next? What is the sequence of events and actions taken based upon this data gleaned from running the report?

Most assume its; run the report, tweak, run the report, tweak, run the report, tweak run the report again, but perhaps there is more to it. I see the present cause for concern; Google won’t provide a tool to do it, and it appears they are curtailing third party vendors from providing it, despite allowing this activity for years.

It would be beneficial, and prudent for Google to put forth an “official and honest” statement on this; is it a band width concern, is it a reverse engineering issue? For those running the reports perhaps explain what specific role these things play beyond reverse engineering.

karlwales




msg:3728958
 5:02 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

@SuperF "That [changing the SERPS layout every day] would be the easiest way of outwitting ranking software."

It wouldn't. It might get rid of some of the rubbish ones, but WPG, CEO and the majors would get around it quite easily.

whitenight




msg:3729010
 6:22 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Once again, thank miamacs for the civil version of this argument.

Seems every 6-12 months or so, I and a rare few others come on this board, ranting(mostly me) or disagreeing COMPLETELY with an "unofficial" official Google statement. Then 4 to 12 months later, people start realizing what the heck we were ranting about in the first place!

Let's not have this same nonsense happen again.
Look beyond the simple analysis AND SEE THE LONG-TERM BIG PICTURE.... heck, that's your JOB as a SEO/webmaster!

Why do you need to know? Suppose you run a report and (your customers site I take it) comes up in position # 28 for the key word “widgets”; what then? What specific role does the reporting functionality play in what you do next? What is the sequence of events and actions taken based upon this data gleaned from running the report?

Absolutely irrelevant counter-arguments.
A red herring!
Worthy of Goog PR campaigns itself.

Doesn't matter if I want to print it out and use it as kitty litter.
That's my right.
It's MY information.
The same public domain information argument that Goog uses to escape all kinds of moral illegalities.

is it a reverse engineering issue?

Better argument!
Of course it is.
Although they will swear up and down it isn't.

What Google fails to understand is that those who actually know how to reverse engineer the algo with any degree of effectiveness, don't use silly commercial tools like WPG or WebCEO -
And they can certainly write up code quick enough to continue the reverse engineering... err...
i mean to "put a serious load on our servers"

So again, i go back to the original statement to MC...
Google is punishing the SEOs/tools that help the MOM AND POP niche sites that are crucial to Goog's profitability and customers.

For those naive enough to believe "bandwidth" is an issue. Reread miamac's post about 5 times.
(main points below)

- People/businesses WILL check their rankings
- Actually they're doing so in this very moment
- It's an obvious necessity to know at least generic trends
- Also, they have a right to know, it's data on THEM
- The data is publicly available anyway
- People have to automate this task, querying by hand is not a solution
- Google doesn't have an official tool (yet)
- Which by itself is already NONSENSE
- From a legal aspect I'd even call this hardship on aquiring the data an outrage, pardon me
- But even so, we don't have time for this
- People will use 3rd party software in the meantime
- They HAVE TO, this is not some prank, neither is illegal nor unethical in any way
- some people abuse these software? yet another reason to have an official tool
- Now, there is obviously something upsetting these software
- Google wouldn't even say if they're doing this on purpose

A frank and honest discourse is good.

lol, from whom? Why do webmasters insist on getting their "honesty" from a company that, at it's core, believes YOU are the problem?!

trinorthlighting




msg:3729139
 8:46 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think a lot of people agree with Miamacs post, I know I do.

petra




msg:3729557
 7:30 pm on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

WPG is now working again, well for myself at least, thanks Scott!

sc0ttkclark




msg:3729570
 8:14 pm on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

So essentially this thread is about: Inevitably, scraping will always be problematic due to Search Engines changing their HTML output (styling, formatting, etc). So you CAN'T rely on a scraper to get results all the time. A real, accurate, and easy to work with API may be in the cards for the future but I'm not feeling that on the horizon for Google just yet.

petra




msg:3729885
 9:41 am on Aug 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WPG has an option to plug in a google api key

sc0ttkclark




msg:3729937
 3:04 pm on Aug 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wasn't aware Google had an API that returned large amount of results to be used in this manner..

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