11th April 2007

The Era of Communication is over…

posted in GWHG, Webmastering |

The Data

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.

Employee Participation is way down

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.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 at 12:07 pm and is filed under GWHG, Webmastering. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. All comments are subject to my NoFollow policy. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 6 responses to “The Era of Communication is over…”

Why not let me know what you think by adding your own comment! All the cool kids are doing it.

  1. 1 MyAvatars 0.2 On April 12th, 2007, Adam Lasnik said:

    Definitely understand the frustration but…
    - I expect you’ll see more Googlers participating in a couple of months and more Google-participation overall (upward trend throughout the year).
    - Googlers are never going to be posting as much in the forum as your best non-Googler contributors. Our primary role will remain analysis, escalation, bug reports, etc.
    - I believe you’ll see really cool new tools and information in Webmaster Tools which will answer an increasing majority of questions we now see in the forum.

  2. 2 MyAvatars 0.2 On April 12th, 2007, JLH said:


    Thanks for stopping by, I’ll pass on the word. This sound like encouraging news and I look forward to the new “tools”.

    I think your link to http://www.google.com is one of those domains that I’ll let go no-nofollowed after the timeout period of two weeks, there’s a certain amount of trust with that. :)

  3. 3 MyAvatars 0.2 On April 13th, 2007, Richard Hearne said:

    Sounds a bit like the usual Google solution - automate. Time will tell if the tactic succeeds.

    Unfortunately the group has gone incredibly noisy - just check out the suggestions board…. *sigh*

  4. 4 MyAvatars 0.2 On April 16th, 2007, Matt Cutts said:

    JLH, I’ll just echo Adam’s comment and add that I asked Adam to work on a big internal project this month, so I know that that soaked up lots of Adam’s cycles as well.

  5. 5 MyAvatars 0.2 On April 16th, 2007, Sebastian said:

    Matt, you know it’s unfair to steal Adam, so can you at least compensate that with a post or two at the crawling/indexing/ranking forum in your spare time? If that adds too much workload we could take care of your blog comments for a while ;) TIA, Sebastian

  6. 6 MyAvatars 0.2 On April 16th, 2007, JLH said:

    Thanks again Adam and now Matt for your comments, I’ll try to set the record straight on the group.

    I’ve interlinked my retractions.

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