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Google-Webmasters Communication - part 2



8:12 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

Hi reseller (and everyone!),

I'm here and reading what everyone has to say (and taking lots of notes about what you would like). I'll do my best to answer questions, although I can't promise snazzy videos like Matt put together. :)

Matt and I think Google Sitemaps is a good vehicle for webmaster communication because it's a scalable way to get input from you and give information back to you. You know how we like scalable things at Google.

There's definitely a lot more we can do regarding communication, much of which has been touched on in this thread. I know that with the name "Google Sitemaps", it may sound like the product is about creating and submitting Sitemaps, and these other communication features are an afterthought. But in reality, our whole team is looking at better ways to communicate with webmasters, and the creating and submitting Sitemaps is just one small piece of that overall communication.

We want this product to include all the tools and diagnostics you need to learn everything we have available about your site's crawling and indexing, as well as include ways for you to provide input to us (beyond submitting Sitemaps and filing reinclusion requests). So keep your ideas coming...

[edited by: tedster at 5:37 am (utc) on Aug. 2, 2006]


8:38 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the appearance, Vanessa. I for one certainly appreciate it. Personally I would accept just about *any* way of communicating with Google right now.

I've come across what I think is a bug in sitemaps after having looked at other sitemap accounts but there doesn't appear to be any way to communicate it back to Google. I tried the "Google Sitemaps Google Groups" board, but never received any feedback.

Additionally Lots of us appear to have been hit hard by the June 27 and July 27 data refreshes and homepages appear to have disappeared from "site:www.example.com" queries. I've tried to get feedback from Google regarding this but haven't received any response other than a link to the Google FAQs.

I'd certainly welcome an interface through sitemaps where we could provide communication to Google and at least have some sort of acknowledgment that it is getting to the right people and maybe even a response. :)

Until something more comprehensive is built, is there any advice you can give us right now that will help us communicate with Google?


8:39 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It's really essential that those of us with legitimate sites who have lost 50% of our income because of the June 27th problem (some of us haven't had our sites go back to normal) have a way to talk to someone via e-mail to find out what went wrong and how we can fix it. Telling us to wait until the end of summer to see what happens is so uncool.


8:51 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Hi Vanessa

Welcome. Thanks for visiting us.

Please feel that you are among friends.


9:23 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Good evening Folks

Communicating with Google through Reinclusion Request has been mentioned by a kind fellow member.

Allow me to mention an evergreen of Matt in this regard:

Filing a reinclusion request [mattcutts.com]

I also saw Matt mentioning today that he intend to talk about Reinclusion too:

"JD, good idea. I did a spiel about data centers last night that I havenít posted yet. I think itís a good idea to tackle some common topics like that. Reinclusion is a good idea, and how Google does geolocation is another."

And of course there will be something for us Google Datacenters Watchers too ;-)

Oliver Henniges

9:25 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Welcome back to ww vanessafox.

> So keep your ideas coming...

Just one little thing: Delete 404ed pages a bit earlier, if a webmaster has submitted a sitemap, and if that page is not part of the sitemap.

For example, sitemaps helped me to find that there were several hundred pages of my site in the index dating back to my frame-era, page-parts like "footer.html" four folders deep. They never were supposed to get indexed, must have been a little mistake years ago. After I ftped dummies of those pages with a noindex tag (not even a 301, google found the alternative automatically), my orders seem to have doubled. Must have eaten a lot of my long tail, and I never would have noticed without sitemaps.


9:29 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I wish I was one of those sites that only lost 50% of their income due to the 27th of June. I've lost 75%.

No pages lost in the index, they just don't show up for search terms anymore. And this is a huge site, over 200k pages indexed. Site has been running for years without a problem. The same exact thing happend to my biggest competitor. You can look at our alexa ratings and they both drop off exactly the same like lemmings ..

It's terribly frustrating not having someone you can contact about the problem.


9:35 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


some people lost 100% so think yourself lucky!

the question is...why do you think google would listen to you?

people are finally waking up to the fact that sites are being filtered on an increasing basis for the last year...it almost seems as thats the whole focus..micro filters while big spam flourishes like never before.....why do you think google would reverse that?


9:47 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I guess I should say it's more like 60% for us! I really don't know what to do. We haven't lost any pages in Google, either - like you, they just don't come up for searches anymore. We've been around over 2 years and are a legit site with hundreds of members. Gah...


9:54 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

What irks my hide is that Google allows the SPAM subdomain entities to flourish, and punishes the little guys trying to make an honest living. Many of these spam sites, I notice on sampling, make use of AdSense.

Do you think Google is feathering its own nest here, by allowing these sites to continue to flourish?


10:10 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

So you need somewhere to report sites with problems.

GoogleGuy has mentioned Sitemaps as a possibility. Also I like ClintFC suggestions in his post #:3030235

1. Google SiteMap accounts should have a "report a problem" form.
Reinclusion requests don't seem to cut it for all situations. Too often, regardless of the nature of the problem being reported, these just come back saying "you have not been banned because your pages are included in our index". It seems that the Google Help desk often take reinclusion requests literally, which isn't really surprising, since we are all forced to confess to imaginary sins just to be able to send one.

2. In the meantime, we would very much like an email address (a la bostonpubcon2006)
This would allow those of us with June/July 27th ranking problems to report the problem effectively

Thanks ClintFC!

Any other creative posative suggestions are most welcome.

Bed time for reseller :-)

Good night all and God Bless.


1:25 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My suggestion would be that people actually get replies when they send reports to Google. That's the big joke though isn't it? First a big outcry for ways to report problems and eventually these methods are begrudgingly provided but then what happens?


3:41 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Well I can't see Google putting the time into answering each and every public request. However for registered sitemaps, adsense, adwords and analytics users it would be nice to get a response now and then.

At least we are making an honest effort to communicate with google and give them the nitty gritty about our site, traffic, money etc. I would think we would have a little bit of credit with them so to speak.


4:29 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

At least we are making an honest effort to communicate with google and give them the nitty gritty about our site, traffic, money etc. I would think we would have a little bit of credit with them so to speak.

Exactly. We do all the work for their benefit and we get not only no response but no results. Just the old bait and switch.

[edited by: Atomic at 4:29 am (utc) on Aug. 2, 2006]


6:30 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Good morning Folks
Good morning GoogleGuy
Good morning Matt Cutts
Good morning Vanessa Fox
Good morning Adam Lasnik

Its inspiring and a great pleasure to see our good Googlers friends and WebmasterWorld fellow members contributing with suggestions, ideas and answers to questions related to improving Google-Webmasters communications.

And it seems that we have already constractive practical promissing suggestions.

Big thanks for GoogleGuy, Matt Cutts and Vanessa Fox for taking the time to joine the thread. And of cource Thanks a bunch to WebmasterWorld fellow members for great contributions.

Thanks to Google.com for building such a great search engine.

Let all those great suggestions and answers coming!

Wish you all a great discussion and a shining day.

PS. Thanks Komodo_Tale for the reminder ;-)

[edited by: reseller at 6:48 am (utc) on Aug. 2, 2006]


6:34 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

reseller, you forgot Adam.


7:03 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


'sokay; I hadn't chimed in on this thread yet, though I've been following it closely, and I see Reseller kindly added my name to the greetings afterwards anyway.

I haven't had much to add to what GoogleGuy, Matt, and Vanessa have already smartly said. We all work closely together (I'm a lucky guy!), but I'm still relatively new at Google and admittedly have a lot to learn... so -- while I have replied to a good handful of threads here in the last weeks -- I have generally felt more comfortable listening than 'speaking.'

Also, I've been doing a ton of Webmaster-evangelizing internally, with a particular emphasis on reviewing and improving Webmaster support *internationally*.

I'll be at SES San Jose and the "Meet the Googlers" event at the Google Dance and hope to chat with many of you there in person.


7:41 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I kind of like the way this is all evolving, so if nothing else here's some words of encouragement:

-Matt, Vanessa , GoogleGuy and Adam chiming in from time to time on
a personal level with various channels / blog / video / forums

-a potential and improving reporting console via Sitemaps

-a community that has 3 way communication

-a process to communicate to the wider site owner audience at all levels of understanding.

It's a good start towards something bigger and better. Let's hope we can keep cracking those specific questions and answers. Also, thanks Reseller & "Folks" for your enthusiasm.

[edited by: Whitey at 7:43 am (utc) on Aug. 2, 2006]


7:57 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"Google Sitemaps is a good vehicle for webmaster communication"
Dear Vanessa just a small question ,do you take more seriously spam reports from the sitemaps console.?


8:21 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

well Adam already said that i think i recall....didnt he say use the sitemaps form?


9:29 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member zeus is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I never understand why we need a sitemap inclusion, I think the bots should be so advanced now to spider any site, so in a way I think its used for something els on the google plex be cause they like colect information, of cause I like the comunication with google, but that can also happen in other ways and why is it nessesary to signup to add a sites sitemap, if its just to save the bot some time or whatever. Once again about comuncation between webmasters and google webmasters has also not been very good the last 1.5 years be cause of all there troubles(302.301 redirectin, hijacking and supplemental, omited results because of lack of data space, much more) they have not wanted to to talk to much.


9:50 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The sitemaps form is fine as a tool to those who have it available. To those who dont what are they supposed to do.

If having a sitemap is now an imperative there are going to be a a lot of unhappy people who are screwed because they dont have technical staff to set up the sitemap software.

This is not communication ... this is a bit Microsoft really. Forcing people to use a tool because you have the power to do so is not good form. It leaves many people in limbo that have good quality information yet no way to talk to you .

Furthermore ... I have a network of 14 or so travel based site all of which are under sever penalties and have been for some 1.5 years. I have used these sitemap tools and go sweet fanny adams in the way of replies.

My staff that produce good quality well research articles on a daily basis are starting to turn away because there doesnt seem to be any point in producing it. Now if you guys were to talk to us, not send auto response cryptic rubbish, it would make a difference to you and to the web scene in general.

The reason I say this is IF you actually told us WHY things were going wrong on our site that only you have the full details of. Then those things that webmasters are doing wrong would change. There is no doubt in my mind that a policy of truly helpful advice to webmasters who do produce good unique information that is of interest to the public would help

1) Google (get rid of spam, black hat SEO and keep it that way)
2) Webmasters (realise what is required to get more than 5 hits a day off of 14 sites with 20000 pages of unique information)
3) THE PUBLIC be able to find good quality information without having to search through 10 pages of bad quality stuff

What is the problem with talking to those people who used to use you when you were small and still would like to use you now if only you didn't sensor good quality info.

Hey know what? I have had an idea.

How about .. you tell us on your sitemap what penalties we are under and what we should do to fix them in a general sence. That wouldn't take up much in the way of your resources and make us feel like we were getting a reasonable amount of feedback.

Just an Idea


10:21 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Why is it that my sitemaps are only download like once every 3 weeks? Do I always have to ping Google?


10:42 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Welcome Adam and Vanessa.

What I'd like to see with Sitemaps is timestamps indicating when Supplemental Googlebot last visited a page listed in my sitemap XML. If that url happens to be a 301 redirect to another page, I'd also love to see something indicating Googlebot followed that 301 or not.


11:56 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Not sure if this is possible?

PR is updated daily we are told. The pagerank on the toolbar is only updated once every 3 months..........?

Is there a way to add a tool to give us daily PR via sitemaps - nothing fancy - even better would be if the score were out of 100 instead of 10.

While I am on the band wagon how about a tool to measure TR (Trust Rank) or should it be called SR (Sandbox Rank)? everyone knows its included in G's algo - would be fantastic to measure it so we know whether or not we are heading in the right direction or not.

EG - TR of 4 gets you out of the 3 word sandbox
TR of 5 out of the 2 word sandbox
TR of 6 gets you out of the single word sandbox


12:13 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I think it would be great to put a "report a problem" via any of the google programs: analytics, adwords, adsense, etc....


12:30 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hey Venessa,

Since June 27th the my site map stats page for one of my sites has been displaying:

Data is not available at this time. Please check back later for statistics about your site.

I searched through the google groups for sitemaps and there appear to be a lot of questions regarding this topic but no answers.

What's it mean?


12:33 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

How about "fixing" the [link:example.com] command inside of the sitemaps control panel.

peter andreas

12:44 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

There is a lot of fear out there about using site maps. You hear stories (whether they are urban myths or the truth) about people using site maps and a sites ranking being decimated.

I'm feeling at a loss as to why my traffic from Google has fallen so dramatically.

I have tried to do no evil. I have never accepted an offer of a recip link (although at times I reallly should have)so my site grows organically (probaly the only one in the entire internet!) and been as honest and as open as I possibly can about how I construct my site. I had my site up before Google was a house hold name and it feels like a kick in the teeth to be honest.I have supported Google, raved about Google to my familly and freinds but no more.

I really did have so much faith in Google, I really felt this company was differant and would change things. Instead they have bloated into this all consuming monster which forgets who helped them get there and wants to index the minutia of the lives of their innocent users and for what purpose I wonder, because it can be done?

I have to say never spent a penny on adwords or any other search engine listing-is that my problem?

I am fed up of being a politician , about wringing my hands in defferance to the powerful master Google.

[edited by: peter_andreas at 1:00 pm (utc) on Aug. 2, 2006]


12:49 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


I'll be honest here. I am so sick and tired of having to comply with every new Google idea, not to mention browser and OS upgrades, that it would be nice to just simplify the entire process. I have tried time and again to verify my site in sitemaps, and I always get the message that the system is busy, so i can't even access the tools.

How about jsut letting the bots do their work, like they were supposed to, without bothering webmasters every couple of days or weeks with new widgets?

Last April (2005), I got hit by one of your updates (I think it was bourbon) and my site fell off the SERPs. I did a reinclusion request and magically, my site was once again found by Googlers in July, though to date, the traffic levels have never recovered.

I made more money with Adsense in April 2005 (pre-bourbon) than I have in any month since, despite contiuing improvements and additions to my site. In general business parlance, that is back-asswards. I should be making more money, not less.

I'll tell you this: I'm old enough to remember the phrase, "get the government off our backs" and am at the point at which it should also apply to fat, stupid public corporations (yes, even ones who attest to "not be evil").

Without the webmasters creating content, Google would be NooooGle. Nada, nothing. How about giving us a break and just including our pages in your results honestly without having to jump through hoops?


This 116 message thread spans 4 pages: 116

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