No Aaron, it’s not just me. The stats back up my claims as well, but thanks for having the guts to publicly bring it to everyone’s attention.
Google employees have been offering less and less information and help in the Webmasters Help Group. The decrease has been dramatic in the last month or so. From a high of 4.5 posts per day in February down to a new low of less than 1.0 post a day this month. Adam Lasnik has fallen off the map completely the last month, with Vanessa’s departure a bit sooner than that.
The overall group use has nearly tripled in the same time period, from 135 posts per day to almost 300 this last month. So as the need grows stronger, the resources that Google allocates to helping webmasters decreases.
What is sad about this?
I guess what is most frustrating is that Google keeps funneling people to the webmasters group through their help center and links withing webmasters tools, only to have them reach a dead end. Of course there are countless contributers that still try to answer questions to the best of their abilities, but we are missing the key “official” stamp of approval from Google, so many leave unsatisfied. It’s no secret that the company’s resources keep increasing each quarter, but yet the support for the back bone of their business, content creators is going down at an alarming rate.
We’ve begged and pleaded for improvements to the interface, we’ve even started our own UN-official catalog of common questions and answers, but until Google loosens up the purse strings and throws some warm bodies at this the problem is only going to get worse as more new visitors enter the forum daily looking for help.
Heck, give me a set of guidelines of what can and cannot be said, a little Blue “G” by my name, and 150k a year and I’ll increase the signal to noise ratio by 500% in that group in no time.
What’s positive about this situation? Not much, other than to say the regular contributers have a lot more patience than I do. They have all stepped up to the plate with even more increased veracity. The reemergence of Sebastian and Admin Aaron, continued excellent support and intuitive knowledge by Softplus, technical skills of Webado and Phil Payne, calming contributions by Cristina, humorous spin with excellent help of dockarl, and too-the-point help of Cass Hacks have brought help to countless thousands in their time of need. ( If I’ve missed you please leave a comment, I’ll be sure to call you out!)
It looks like Jonathon Simon is picking up the pace. They have still been adding some information to the discussion in their blog, and if you are one of the privileged few to be able to make it to SES (Search Engine Spamming) conference you may get an answer.