What is Google doing to provide support to webmasters?
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What is Google doing to provide support to webmasters?

Today’s question comes from
the United Kingdom. Phil asks, “When will there be
official Google support for webmaster questions? I only ever receive automated
responses after submitting reconsideration requests despite
going to length to write in detail with regards to
my issues and what I have done.” So the problem is fundamentally
a scale issue. There’s 250 million
domain names. I think the most recent data
that we’ve provided says that we took action on 400,000 sites
to the degree that we sent them a manual message
in January of 2013. And we get about 5,000
reconsideration reports each week, so about 20,000 a month. And the problem is our primary
goal has to be returning the highest quality set
of search results. So that’s what we really
need to work on. And then our secondary goal is
to talk to webmasters about actions that we’ve
taken on sites. So the problem primarily
is that there’s so many webmasters on the web, and our
index is really big, and we get over 2 billion
queries a day. And so we don’t really have a
great way to talk one-on-one with individual webmasters. So we try to come up with
scalable ways, like webmaster videos like these that can get
several thousand views. But it is really tricky to
have a conversation, especially a prolonged, detailed
conversation, about a particular site. We’ll keep looking for new
ways to do better. We’ll keep looking for ways
to communicate scalably. But that’s the fundamental
dilemma. That’s the issue that we face. And so the reconsideration
request process, for example, you’ll typically get back, “yes,
you’re doing OK,” or “no, you still have work to do.”
Or in some cases, “we’ve processed your request,” which
might mean, hey, you had multiple issues and maybe one
is now resolved, but there’s still more issues that
need to be resolved. But the standard reconsideration
request reply doesn’t have a free text area
where someone could just type in extra advice or something
like that. We have experimented with doing
some communication above and beyond for people
who are doing reconsideration requests. But it is tricky, because every
bit of time we’re taking away to spend on that, we’re
taking away from spam fighting right now. And so we’re trying to find the
right balance, and trying to find ways that will
be scalable. We are looking at ways that we
can provide more information, for example in the messages
that we send out. And so I think we’ll keep
making progress on that. But it’s fundamentally
a very hard problem.


  • Hans Castro Jimenez

    A todos nos gustaría un trato "tú a tú" con el soporte de Google. ¿Abrir un servicio técnico sería tan inviable? Generalmente en SEO todo va bastante lento, y a veces necesitamos respuestas rápidas.

  • Bill Gelwick

    It's still far better than what you get from AdSense. They shut you down, with no explanation. Then, when you notify them that you have done nothing to violate their rules, but another webmaster who runs a site with your ads may have, and that you would be happy to remove those, you are told flatly that they cannot help you. What a load of crap!

  • Frank the Ant

    Google isn't helpful at all to Webmasters. My website for whatever reason is not ranking after the downtime I experienced, It's been back up for over a week, still only a couple of my posts are ranking, the new ones don't rank at all..

    I tried posting on Google Forums with no luck 🙁

  • Spook SEO

    Google has never claimed to provide any accountability to webmasters. It is really up to website owners to support each other, and help out. For someone coming fresh to SEO it can be daunting, but that is the reality.

  • Cheap Cars Finder App - Autopten

    In other words, this is a freaking crazy mess created by Google since the moment you decided to launch Panda and Penguin and now you can't handle it, seriously, with all the respect that you deserve, thank you Google for making our lives easier. =/

  • OldeFarquer

    Matt, why has Google not designed a way to create negative keywords for search results? The last time the question was asked, the comment was "Who would want less traffic?" Well, me… so my bounce rate isn't so high and so people don't find us rather than what they're really looking for. It's been an important feature in Adwords for years. Why not search?

  • GoWithTheFlow

    Well I don't know what is going on with Google search lately. Type in "chat room" and on the first page a website about Vegans. And I wonder why my chat room vanished from Google despite the Google web spam team not finding any issues :/

  • Kal Elsehsah

    Thanks Matt for clarification. I wonder if there will be a paid support not for escalation but to enhance google services. Btw, my son Adam Elsehsah always watching your videos with me and he asked me to say hello. Adam is 8 years old.

  • saud bostani

    when will the updates stops, I have last more then a %90 of my visits. that can't be happening my content is made buy me and no spam

  • MrTVTL905

    So you were stupid enough to let another webmaster run a site with your ads on it despite having the ability to reject any sites showing your ads without permission from within Account Settings, and now you're mad because Google won't help you when the "other webmaster" violated the policy?

    Anyone who doesn't run their publisher advertising as a business deserves what they get.

  • RankYa

    Perhaps that's understandable in that Google can't reply to every single email from webmasters. But why not make it clear as to why Google takes such actions (as in pin point which of the algo's have triggered the action?) instead of making webmasters read through the guidelines, because most webmasters do not fully have the time to watch countless hours of videos (or which particular video can help them understand the dilemma their website is facing)

  • Gaurav Agarwal

    YES VERY TRUE!!! , i faced the same issue with adwords , they slapped my account never gave me a reason , and on repeated contact they told me to create new LOL ( as they cannot help with the old one )

  • Wouter Vergeer

    Hi Matt, how about if Google offered a paid version of the webmaster tools service. Just like you had with Google Apps, a free version without email support and a paid one with some extras, including email support. If the amount a month is low (e.g. less than $10 per domain), I'm sure that many webmasters would be interested. As a result the webmasters themselves will pay for it and it won't require other resources. And you can learn from the extra communication to improve Google even more.

  • bodyguardrj

    My website changed from subdomains to folders. And since the main domain got thousands of new pages, Google removed me from all search results (but still indexed). I have no away to tell Google that was only a URL structure change and I can't send a reconsideration request because I don't have manual penalty. I'm in limbo 🙁

  • electrosoundz

    Yes I would definitely pay for that. The goal is better search results like you said.
    Except for Adwords, which has excellent support, all the other services (Adsense and Webmaster Tools) lack the "human touch". I preffered if i spoke to someone who knows what my problem is than look through hundreds of help pages and forums with people that only have theories.

  • Never Paint Again UK

    Matt. With arespect, despite the numbers of recon requests you get, you are a multi billion (?) dollar company so employing extra staff to deal with the rules that you guys lay down should not really be an issue. Pls bear in mind most webmasters are not seo experts, neither are they award winning content writers! When the algorithm penalizes a site, the webmaster has no information form gogole or anyone to email. Pls tell people EXACTLY what U dont like about their site, then they can fix it!

  • Josh Barnett

    Go through your site and make sure that you don't have any duplicate content. If you do, don't delete the duplicate pages – just use 302s or canonicals to forward them to the original page. Once you've done that, just resubmit your sitemap and wait – the algorithm will refresh, and Google will forgive you for packing on content in such a short amount of time.

  • Rusty Compass

    So why not charge webmasters a fee to receive some service? Then the service can cover its cost, be more accountable and ultimately create better search outcomes as well.

  • Peter Sedesse

    Honestly, Google already does too much. They allow black-hatters to get back in the game too easily. Google spells out their rules everywhere.. just follow them and all is well. Google should spend more time making sure good sites without tech savvy management get ranked well, rather then allowing people who really skirt the rules to get ´get out of jail free cards´.. more easily.

  • bodyguardrj

    No duplicate pages. All old content redirect to new using 301 and canonicals set.
    I hope so. My home page disappeared from search using my site name (but appear using full url).
    Is a 11 years old website. Drop of 90% in search impressions from Google and increased 10% from Yahoo/Bing (I'm second result there by my main keyword).

  • Vern Lovic

    Hi Matt,

    I'm an author writing under two different names- Mike Fook and Vern Lovic, and a website content creator on many of my own websites. I write about Thailand and Hawaii mainly. What is the best way to let Google know I am the same person, and have all Google Authorship credit given to me? Maintain 2 personas with Google? Feel free to re-state the question, I can't quite get a handle on how to ask it in a succinct way.

  • TheSEO1st

    It is really up to website owners to support each other, and help out. For someone coming fresh to SEO it can be daunting, but that is the reality.

  • George Urben

    why does it take away time from spam fighting? Google makes billions of dollars every year and has thousands of things to do and to pay for. But support to webmasters would take time away from ONE single job Google does; spam fighting…. not from Google Map, Google places, Google news, Google anything, but Spam fighting. WHAT are you saying here? Webmasters are the backbone of the Internet! Without us, Google would be out of work very quickly! you may want to take that in consideration.

  • Souvik Mallick

    lol.. So moral of the story is they cant provide support to webmasters and specially reconsideration request.. But the panda on his t-shirt looks cool. Seems like it is fighting spam over the video, asking not to send reconsideration request.

  • The Internet Guy

    I got an email from Google Webmaster Tools last week saying traffic has crashed on two of my top ranking pages. And surely enough, my site traffic has halved again… The last time that happened was after the Penguin update…

  • Christopher Burdick

    The biggest problem is when your site is dinged not manually, but with the algorithm. You have no way of knowing what's wrong, no way of submitting a reconsideration request or even if you should, and very little help from the webmaster forums.

    If there was a section in Webmaster Tools that could (even vaguely) tell you what's going on in the SERPs, that would help out tremendously, especially for those of us who run legit sites and got dinged for who-knows-why.

  • John Stirzaker

    Hi Matt would it not make sense to detail exactly what the issue is with the effected website so that websmasters can focus their efforts on fixing the actual issues? Just some level of guidance would be great (especially with algorithmic penalties) we could all go about making our sites better by fixing what you're telling us we are doing wrong.

  • MrTVTL905

    I get the sentiment here, but it's not a particularly good idea for two reasons:

    1) At $10 a month, Google probably loses money offering this. You have to figure their engineers are in the six digit salaries somewhere, which means that one email a month puts them at a loss. They'd probably have to go MS and do it per incident along the lines of $200/hour, 2 hour minimum.

    2) If Google ever did this, they're effectively selling results. Pay more = better results.

  • thedomainers

    Here is an idea Matt, you made $33 billion last year, Hire people to at least provide detailed info to the people that make up the web, Google does not own the Internet, Webmasters throughout the world and their readers/customers do. You are a service provider, provide better service.

  • Wouter Vergeer

    There are two ways to approach this. Thinking in ways to make this possible or in ways why it is impossible. It will all depend on whether Google sees added value in getting more feedback.

    In reply:

    1) I don't think engineers will be the ones handling the communications, it will be support staff. By the time engineers get involved Google got valuable feedback to implement.

    2) I personally don't agree that providing manual support equals selling results. It is about solving issues.

  • MsArgentana

    Sorry to bother you with my problem. I searched help without finding it.
    SINCE 1 YEAR something is deducting visualizations from my channel account.
    That means that:

    yesterday the 3rd of wept 2013 were 59.950
    today day 4th apper to be 59.350 (it happened already many times)

    Can you help me please? Claudia

  • imran aftab

    In the last month (August) i used to have daily traffic of 5000 to +6000 per day, but then i don't know, what happened to my blog, its traffic dropped to 600 per day, GoogleWebmasterHelp or Anyone outhere, I need your help and suggestions, to help me out, what could be the problem with my blog? There is no message from the Google Webmaster Tools, No Manual Actions, Nothing. I don't know, what could be the problem with my blog?

  • Sander den Hartog

    Well this isn`t oke because google earn a lot of money and the profit is high, the webmaster provide the content for google. So if you ask me google can do a lot more but that cost money and google doesn`t want to spend any money. So millions profit and only 5000 questions and they can not handle that? I think that it is the worst excuse i ever heart. Spend money hire people and help webmasters that doesn`t understand what they are doing wrong that help a lot to make things better

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  • Misty Croxton

    what is a jpg GIF and png file im trying to add a photo from my playstation to my google acc..i have some good pictures that would like share with my playstation friends..i can do it on facebook, but google says i need those files idk what they are?

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