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Forum Moderators: lawman
Lately I've been feeling overwhelmed by Google discussions. If I'm on the email notification for Google, I get bombarded. Even when I go to the Google forum now, I spend a lot of time sorting through threads trying to find what I want to read.
So, I was thinking it might be cool to divide the Google forum into separate forums. Maybe something kinda like this -
Update - questions about when Google updates and of course the non-stop-is-google-updating-now?, etc.
Newbies - This could include the Google Knowledge Base and questions relating to it.
PageRank- pretty obvious, I guess
Well, those are just a few and I'm sure it could be broken down even more, maybe a Linking section, a Spam section, etc.
Brett, WebGuerrilla, NFFC, ciml, and Marcia - I wouldn't doubt there's been some discussion about this behind 'closed doors'. I guess I'm wondering if this is something that might happen in the future?
Either way, thanks to all of you (and everyone here) for making this the definitive place to get fast, comprehensive, and accurate information on Google.
You are not alone mona. There's a long line.
>I spend a lot of time sorting through threads
I watch the reply count. The good stuff really gets up there in count.
We've discussed it a great deal - even in public a few times. You voiced my concerns as well. We are doing between 50-100 active threads per day in there now.
The problem is finding dividing lines of subject matter. Not a big problem for me and you, but for newer users, it would be very difficult to know which forum to post in. They just wouldn't get the difference between "update", "faq", "newbie", or "pagerank". It would be completely foriegn to about 10% of the newer users (mega lurk factor involved in that forum as it is now).
We've looked at it from every angle, and unless we were to park two moderators on the forum 24x7, it would be nonstop post moving, etc. That doesn't sound like a big issue, but considering we generally notify posters when a thread is moved, spliced, or split, it is a great deal of time. Between the moderators and admins, we have 12-20 man hours a day into moderating that forum as it is now (thanks guys).
Where we can find some clear dividing lines that users would understand and appreciate is:
AdWords - paid advertising through Google.
GoogleNews - a PREmoderated read only "forum" tracking major Google events.
Searching With Google - using Google to do what Google does best.
The Webmasters Google - listings, spidering, updating, and general webmasters issues.
On the flip side of the coin, there is risk is splitting the topics. The side issues wouldn't get near the traffic and would die. Often, those side topics are the most important.
We are still considering options. I think we will take a hands off approach until the end of the summer and see what we think this fall. The Google star could sink, slide, or fall as fast as it has rose.
Thanks for the feedback Mona - it is very important.
One of the main concerns would be of people posting in one catagory then the topic going off-topic into something more of another catagory ;)
AdWords, shouldn't that go in Advertisement/PPC engine part if your going to seperate it in any way?
Lots of Google threads :) I cant wait till Google releases the toolbar for the Macintosh (;
I am glad there are such the good moderators here to keep everyone in line ;) Even ME!
I say split em up ;)
Just amazing how overpowering Google is getting.
For the experienced user it does not matter which sub-category you put it, they probably all use the "recent posts" option and press F5 every other minute.
For the beginner, he/she would enter via the home/forums look for Google and hopefully start at Brett's knowledge base?
Checking the last 40 threads a split-up could be done without too much hassle on which thread fits in which category (taking Bretts sublisting above as an example).
"The Webmasters Google" category would probable hold 80% of the Google threads.
The only problem I have is finding old threads with the search function. (How much do we have to donate to Brett to have the Google internal search facillity installed?)
That seems like a good idea or how about a "Rantings on Google Forum".
I find myself getting caught up in the updates (my wife thinks I'm nuts) and sometimes make a post with no "meaningful" information, just what my sites are going through. Which means zilch to everyone except me, and really shouldn't even be posted. :)
I apologize for this!
Maybe if we all had a forum that could contain our meaningless rantings, the "real" google information wouldn't be clogged with "my site this, my site that, I'm seeing this, I'm seeing that".
if they had their own little place, they wouldn't interfere with all the other posts nearly as much.
I think we will take a hands off approach until the end of the summer and see what we think this fall.
Seems a ton of people come out the woodwork at update time :) Not intending to mean offence to anyone, or show my ignorance, but I think some of the postings get pretty pointless. As far as I'm concerned, yeah, its great to see *different* results during the update.
When its posted on WMW as the update, I look at it for a bit, decide if Im better or worse off...............and wait until it hits www
In between, nothing matters, its just google technology going through the motions. But yeah, on the flip side I can understand why people would want to scrutinise even the minutest change in google rankings. Its nice to watch, but not exactly "something to write home about" IMHO :)
I think that's part of why it's hard to categorise.
"Google Chat (updates, etc.)" is a nice idea, but whichever forum looks like the 'main' Google forum will get posts that should be elsewhere. This happens now; people ask general webmaster questions in Google because it's busy.
A "Google Advanced Topics (PageRank, ranking, etc.)" forum wouldn't have the same problem, but would the more experienced members continue to get involved in discussion with new users? One of the great things about WebmasterWorld is that highly experienced people on Topic A will happily discuss with newbies. I think it could work.
Brett's "wait until it settles" line makes a lot of sense to me, not just because Google may fall from prominence (with AOL onboard I'm sure that Google will remain popular even if Yahoo! switches), but because the type of posts is changing. For example, AdWords is becoming much more important, so as more people realise the AOL connection it might well justify a forum.
i think there also needs to be some thought into why people are posting duplicate discussions. are these people finding the google forum after having searched google for "why have i been dropped from google"? maybe it would be a good idea to try to get the google knowledge base page ranking higher than the forum for similar searches? maybe even ban googlebot from the google forum for a while?
but then again, i'm an idiot so feel free to take no notice of me :)
Most of those threads are started by very new users who don't understand (yet) about the 'community' aspect or the potentially high level of discussion here.
We do not want to scare newbies away and we do want to encourage de-lurking. At the same time, we want our more experienced members to be able to find the concentration of non-repetitive and deeper threads that they should be able to expect at WebmasterWorld. If they can't, then they're not going to drop by as much and help the newbies anyway.
I am always happy to answer newbie questions, we were all newbies once ;)
I think this would help a lot, and maybe have a more *prominent* link on the post topic page to the Google knowledge base something like:
Dropped from Google read this !
or something similar
also the link on the main Google forum 'post topic' page could be made a bit more prominent.
just my 0.02p worth