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Would you pay for Google support?

Paid Google support

     
3:19 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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To receive support for critical webmaster issues, which need Google inputs, would you be prepared to pay a fee for an acknowledged, personalised and professional response?
3:31 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, in some cases. But they should offer free support.
3:59 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes. If it was advice on to improve my site to do better in the ranking. But not, general advice to get more/better links, match our standards, make your site user-friendly but real here's what would raise your rating. However, they guard their algo and would never do that.
4:00 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I can't see Google providing SEO service - that's an SEO's job , & it's too much of a conflict, but i thought a service that supports "whitehat" standards that says " heh guys .... we looked at your site ..... change this "

I'm thinking that they are not going to be able to sustain free support for a free service, and if you need someone skilled to look over something it's probably worth it.

Which areas do you think they should offer free support?

I was thinking that common problems/fixes like "Supplemental Hell" should be on some sort of notice boards - i can't imagine them being able to service large problems for free.

6:12 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't think Google should offer paid support, for the same reason that I don't think Google should offer PFI listings: Doing so would favor commerce over information, and that would lead to poorer search results for users. (It would also conflict with Google's stated mission.)
6:57 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i'd prefer they never offered paid SEO advice. this would simply erase the small boys from the first 10 pages of the SERPs.
9:58 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think there are certain situations where paid support would be useful. Eg a "Domain moving service" for people that want or need to change domain name without the risk of being dropped from the Google index.

Basically support should be restricted to issues surrounding being included in the index rather than how well a site ranks in the index.

There are times when human intervention could sort out issues that Google's algorythm clearly has trouble with e.g. canonical issues which could easily be fixed through human intervention. Humans cost money, so it would be appropriate for Google to charge.

9:59 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes I would be happy to.
10:16 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would be very happpy for google to charge for me for site ranking information.
When you think about it, it could replace your adwords costs or at least cut this down a bit, as the unpaid listings convert better.

beck.

10:55 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, but more so, why don't G charge for services which one would normally expect to be paid for? Googlebase for example.
I don't doubt that G can afford a proper customer support system - they just don't seem to want to!
10:59 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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But they should offer free support.

Why?

TJ

11:32 am on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't pay for Google support.
12:35 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The Washington Post carries a story on a company's lawsuit alleging Google's policing efforts have penalized Web sites that have done nothing wrong. To make matters worse, the suit alleges the banished sites can't determine how they can restore their standings because the company doesn't explain its actions.Web site files complaint against Google [washingtonpost.com]

This seems to be a case of "they won't communicate" on "what have we done wrong" rather than "tell us your secret algo ".

I wonder, if in this sense, Google might have an obligation to communicate more effectively with website/webmasters owners and in order to fund it, provide a paid service.

1:26 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would definitely be willing to pay for support for specific issues, e.g. why has this page not been indexed? why is the cache of this page out of date? etc etc. In other words, help with specific technical issues where a website has been (apparently) unfairly or irrationally treated.

I don't think that Google should ever offer advice on how to improve a site's rankings. That would completely undermine the notion that Google offers unbiased results.

3:06 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google is building a backbone for the goal to help users move from using a local operating system to one almost completely web-based.

Helping webmasters is a minute priority and won't produce the long term revenue stream that their stock price demands. The money is in the users, not the webmasters.

3:23 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't doubt that G can afford a proper customer support system - they just don't seem to want to!

Webmasters and SEOs aren't the "customers" of Google Search.

3:24 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The money is in the users, not the webmasters.

Not sure about that statement,as webmasters provide the websites, they spend on advertising [AdSense], they provide a platform for Google ads on their sites.

Users, yes, click on those ads, but Google has to cater for noth users and webmasters alike.

3:37 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I saw this thread's title and came in here thinking: I must post that this talk of paid Google support is not good. In principle I'd object to paying a lot of money to be told how to get around an internal problem they have with supplementals or canonicals. My paying reduces the incentive for Google to sort the underlying problem out.

Then I saw EFV saying, " I don't think Google should offer paid support " and thought, "Wow! There's something EFV and I agree on!". But, sadly, as he progressed to explain the reasons behind his opinion, I cringed.

I've now changed my mind and think that yes, Google should offer paid support. Why is it that owners of information sites feel they have some automatic superiority over commercial sites?

Doing so would favor commerce over information, and that would lead to poorer search results for users. (It would also conflict with Google's stated mission.)

Why is it "favouring commerce"? And what's wrong with favouring commerce over information? Isn't it Google's job to work out whether the searcher is looking for info or shopping carts? Or is it automatically the case that every surfer only wants information sites and they only suffer commercial sites because these are thrust upon them (poorer results)?

There is more drivel and dross among the information sector than commercial. Scrapers, MFAs etc are posing as info sites, not commercial ones.

Even as the owner of several pure information sites I believe that if one sector were to get an advantage it should be the sector that spends more time and money producing sites useful for the visitor, which depend on their sites being useful to the visitor, and which has less "spam" and "spurious" content. And that's the commercial sector.

(It would also conflict with Google's stated mission.)

Huh? Have their changed their mission recently?
4:12 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, absolutely.
4:14 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes,
However I do not think that Google will ever offer this service.
4:16 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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<Webmasters and SEOs aren't the "customers" of Google Search>

Disregarding SEO's for the moment, if webmasters are not 'customers', what are they?

4:18 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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what are they?

Suppliers.

4:22 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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<Suppliers.>

I would agree with that. Why do we supply our product for free? I know why we did once, but that is not now.
I can't think of many other businesses who get their supplies for nothing and make $27bn out of it! :)

Having said that, people are not asking for money - just consideration, and as has been shown here so far, most even seem willing to pay for that as well as supplying the product for nothing.

4:34 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would like to get their ideas. I would need to know how much first. :)
4:36 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Why is it that owners of information sites feel they have some automatic superiority over commercial sites?

Who said anything about superiority?

Even as the owner of several pure information sites I believe that if one sector were to get an advantage...

I'm saying that neither commercial nor information sites should have access to paid support. What do you have against an even playing field?

5:03 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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<<Why is it that owners of information sites feel they have some automatic superiority over commercial sites?>>

<Who said anything about superiority?>

<<Even as the owner of several pure information sites I believe that if one sector were to get an advantage...>>

<I'm saying that neither commercial nor information sites should have access to paid support. What do you have against an even playing field? >

It isn't an even playing field though - things aren't always equal. It's easier to get an information site to rank in G - my site is mostly graphics and it's really hard, even without the. I would be happy for commercial sites like mine to pay for entry to G and get support, and non-commercial/information sites to get it free (as long as they really non-commercial/info sites!).

5:04 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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<even without the>

Whoops!
Even without the tribulations of dealing with tech stuff like split PR and template problems etc etc.!

5:07 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm saying that neither commercial nor information sites should have access to paid support.

With respect, that's not what you said. Your point was that if Google offered paid for services then commercial sites would have an advantage and that would mean poorer search results for users. The implication is clear: More commercial sites at the top of SERPs is bad for the user. Info sites shd rule! :)

If Google offered paid for services those commercial sites that are of genuine top quality but are languishing in the SERPs can sort their internal problems out to compete properly, rise to the top in SERPs, and provide a better user experience.

What have you got against Google SERPs improving?

5:32 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The implication is clear: More commercial sites at the top of SERPs is bad for the user. Info sites shd rule! :)

You may have inferred that, but I didn't imply it.

I'm simply saying that, because paid support would be used primarily by commercial sites (which can justify the expense of such support), Google's search results would end up being skewed in favor of commercial sites when all other factors were equal. But of even greater importance, the search results would tend to be skewed in favor of commercial sites that have paid for support.

In my opinion, Google should keep Webmasters and SEOs at arm's length. Otherwise, it risks creating a situation like the U.S. energy industry, where the regulators and the regulated are in bed together but it's the users who get screwed.

5:50 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You may have inferred that, but I didn't imply it.

Sorry, you didn't imply it, you stated it as fact: "...favor commerce over information, and that would lead to poorer search results for users". Why is it that more commercial sites in SERPs automatically means lower quality?

Google's search results would end up being skewed in favor of commercial sites when all other factors were equal

But you are not saying why you are against it even if it's going to improve the SERPs for users?

but it's the users who get screwed

It's a shame Google is a monopoly.
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