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We have heard of a website owner that is an Adwords advertiser that claims he has paid Google money to get a report on why his site is not ranking well in Google.
Is this a service Google offers or just fabrication?
Google Answers discourages and may remove questions that:
[ ... ]
seek specific information about Google or Google Answers (email email@example.com instead)
Although plenty of Google-related questions get though, they probably oughtn't.
The restrictions on information about Google in the Google Answers (or GA as we so fondly call it) TOS refer to questions about the insider workings of Google or GoogleAnswers, themselves. The same sort of information you're not allowed to blab if you happen to visit the Googleplex and sign the screen in the Lobby with the Non-disclosure Agreement.
Speculation, opinion and/or advice on the workings of the Google Search Engine are allowed on Answers, just like anywhere else online. Researchers are supposed to inform each customer that they're receiving outside opinions, hopefully informed ones, rather than insider information or professional advice from Google itself.
Greetings, everyone. I'm an Answers researcher.
But, its not Google who actually gives the answer. It could be anyone.
Correct. However, answers about the SE's and particularly Google SEO are offered by only a small percentage of the available Researcher pool. Since its opening in May 2002, most long-term Researchers have developed one or more areas of specialization -- categories in which their answers are most successful. Any researcher may answer, yes, but if the customer is not satisfied, they may, and in fact do, request refunds. A black mark for the Researcher in most such instances. In addition, the Researcher community is self-policed, rather rigorously by online standards, and Researchers are also permitted, even encouraged to point out misinformation that might be posted by a colleague. We all have a vested interest in making sure information offered the public on GA is as accurate as possible. Our individual reputations for accuracy and honesty are on the line with every question.
... the website owner concerned is claiming to have paid?600
Currency USD? The maximum initial offering price for an Answer through GA is $200, a tip of up to $100 is allowed. Two or more questions would have required in order to pay $600. That's a possibility, of course. Many customers ask more than one question.
To the best of my knowledge, Google doesn't allow direct consultation by employees. GARs are not employees, but independent contractors, and our contracts are very specific about the information we can (or rather cannot) share. GARs are not supposed to contact GA customers offsite -- all communication related to Answers must be on the Answers site only. It is my assumption (e.g. educated guess) that each Google-related question answered has been vetted by various processes, both automated and human initiated, but I've never observed the Answers Editors (employees) to comment upon the content of any of the SEO answers.
Has anyone heard of Google providing feedback to customers asking why their site is not ranking wel
I saw a google answers thread pop up #1 for a search term of a clients. The question was something like 'why isn't my site listed when I search for 'widgets'. Their answer was 'well, it shows up when you search for 'mywidgetsite', so you are int there.' weak.
Many askers are completely unaware of the differences between banning, penalties, and simply "not indexed." If the researcher answered such a "status" question literally, you might see such a response, especially if the question price was very low.
For the most part, the askers of such questions are website owners who are complete beginners, or have little technical savvy, or who have been victims of unscrupulous SEOs. As Brett has pointed out, Answers researchers often refer customers here to WW because of the quality of information available. But -- not all askers are capable of immediate understanding at this level. Answers tends to service customers who'd likely be told to RTFFAQ/RTFM upon their first query at most of the SEO forums webwide.