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Charter - Google SEO News and Discussion

Forum: Google SEO News
Category: Google World
Moderators: Robert_Charlton, goodroi, aakk9999, andy_langton
(Earlier moderators tedster [webmasterworld.com] (R.I.P. [webmasterworld.com]), Scott, NFFC, Marcia, Webguerilla, ciml, vitaplease, lawman, brotherhood_of_lan, and andy_langton. Founding Moderator: Brett Tabke)
Founded: Oct 22, 1999
Major Milestone: First forum to pass 20,000 posts [webmasterworld.com] and then 50,000, then 100,000, then etc.

Focus: Google ORGANIC Search - Professional SEO News and Analysis

Google "Noise"
Generic editorializing, whether pro or con, may be removed. We're not here just to vent, we're here to help each other understand. The noise level that editorializing creates makes it difficult to filter through threads for information of real value. For more about this, please see The Focus of this Forum [webmasterworld.com]

Not about organic search?
We maintain other forums for Google many products and business operations (see the Google World [webmasterworld.com] index page.) This includes the Google Business Issues forum [webmasterworld.com].

There are no dedicated forums for some Google services, so please discuss:

Google Analytics topics in the Website Analytics Forum [webmasterworld.com]
Google Local (Maps) topics in the Local Search Forum [webmasterworld.com]
XML Sitemaps topics in the Sitemaps Forum [webmasterworld.com]

Every thread must be approved by a moderator before it is published. Please see the guidelines below for reasons why posts may not be approved. We try to make pre-moderation decisions in a timely manner - but because we are a volunteer staff and not always available, a decision can take as long as 12-24 hours.

The moderators often edit post titles and may not always send a note to explain. Title edits are made to attract more clicks to your thread, to clarify differences between similar topics, and to help similar discussions appear as clearly non-duplicate to the search engines.

We also prefer not to use the "description" section, which people often skip reading. We prefer to integrate the most helpful information into the thread title.

Please take the time to get familiar with:

Those threads will give you a sense of the level of information here and help you avoid duplicating topics that have already been covered. Also consider using our Site Search [webmasterworld.com] - it may be the quickest route to resolving your question.

LINKING Guidelines
We are selective about what type of links we will publish. Examples of links that will be approved:

  • Educational material and standards documents - Microsoft, Apache, Google Guidelines, etc.
  • Authoritative news stories - NY Times, Wall Street Journal, PC World, Wired, BBC, CNN, NBC, etc.
  • Useful research or analysis on external websites

These types of links and citations are much more helpful than linking to non-standard ideas, opinion, rumor and guesswork. Bad information lives on and is read for years, building up myths.

In addition, it is never appropriate to link to or cite any website that you operate or that hosts your own content - no matter how authoritative that content may be.

NEW MEMBERS - Posting behaviour
New members ("New User" status) should not post specifics or links until they reach Junior Member status. This is done to cut down on the spam.

Here are some factors that can trigger an edit or prevent a new post from being approved and published:

  1. Low quality posting. This includes posting of junk messages that do not add value to the discussion and generic signature links.

  2. Malicious outing of competitors. This is not the place to attack your competition.

  3. Posting topics that have been covered recently or frequently. Check the Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com] and use Site Search [webmasterworld.com] if in doubt.

  4. Posts made to bring problems to the attention of a Google staff member

  5. Requests or offers for site reviews are not allowed, including "the site in my profile", "can you PM me the url" etc.

  6. "When is the next update?" questions. Only Google knows, and these days Google updates their algo in some way almost every day - and PR or backlinks are changed on no predictable schedule.

  7. Excessive posts that overly dominate or stop the discussion. This includes posts that take the main discussion off-topic by discussing religion, politics or making adults-only comments.

  8. Posts that ask for or offer business arrangements of any kind. This also rules out requests for hosting recommendations. Such requests inevitably lead to promtional posts and are not allowed anywhere in the public forums.

  9. Disproportionate posting of questions without participating in other Google SEO discussions. This is a discussion forum, not a help desk. Selfish posting habits will discourage other members from answering your threads when you need help.

  10. Generic editorialising will be removed. We're not here to vent. We're here to help each other understand. The noise level editorializing creates makes it difficult to filter through threads for information of real value.

Webmaster World is NOT here as a way to communicate with Google. If you want to give input about specific details on how your site or any other site appears in the search results, please use the channels that Google provides.

  1. Use the reporting feature or the Reconsideration Request in your Webmaster Tools account. Because your account authenticates you, Google gives this communication higher priority and credibility.

  2. Use this form for giving more anonymous input: Google: Search Quality and Your Feedback [google.com].

  3. At the bottom of every search results page, use the link that says "Give us feedback"

  4. Google also offers a Webmaster Help Forum [google.com]. Your questions - with specific identifying details about your site - are welcome there.

Be precise but brief in your message to Google. Report both the actual search keywords and explain the problem you see.

No Google/SEO Tools, Please
We request that you not mention or post links to any specific "Google tools" or "SEO tools" or "SEO services". There are hundreds of them, and many are owned or operated by our members. Basic webmastering tools and services that are in general use can be mentioned, when appropriate to the discussion.

Private Messages
Posts that request Sticky Mail contact, or that mention "I sent you a PM" and so forth are not appropriate in this forum. Those who want to have private discussion with another member should simply send a private message to that person, or assume that those who want private contact with you will reach out. This practice helps create a thread that can help many people well into the future.

Forum Etiquette
Please be mindful of the original topic of discussions and be respectful and courteous to other members. Posts that are rude, insulting or belittling toward others are not appropriate and will be edited or removed. Discuss the topic, and not other members.

SEO is a fluid profession. Techniques and tactics are always changing, and absolute rules are in short supply. There are only educated opinions - and it's common for opinions to run counter to each another. Tolerance helps to clear up the discussion much more than conflict.

Politics, Religion, Cultural Differences
We have members from all over the world. Different systems of government, culture and religion are represented in almost every thread. Political, religious and lifestyle commentary does not belong here - our threads should be professional discussions about Google Search.

To Google.com for building such a great search engine, and thank you for all the referrals!