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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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?
<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!).
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?
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.
You may have inferred that, but I didn't imply it.
Google's search results would end up being skewed in favor of commercial sites when all other factors were equal
but it's the users who get screwed