15th August 2007

Warnings Google Needs to Incorporate

posted in Google |

We are all familiar with the warning labels on every day products we use such as the ones telling you not to pick up the lawn mower trim your hedges, though seemingly benign these signs are placed there because not everyone has the equal amount of knowledge or even common sense.

As an everyday product, Google should also carry such warnings and cautions for it’s users. Not everyone is as familiar with their products as internet savy SEO’s, webmasters, and the PhDs that run it. With that said, I have come up with some labels they should consider…


Instead of that deceptive little tooltip, “PageRank is Google’s view of the importance of this page” they should show one of the following.

PageRank is solely based on the incoming links to this page.  It is not an indication of quality.

Page is so behind in updating that its use as a judgement for importance is not recommended.

Site: Query Modifier

When a user uses the site: command to see what pages are indexed on a site they should be given the warning:

many pages listed by the site: command are actually supplemental and will never show up for an actual search.

Link: Query Type

When a user, misguided as they may be, attempts to use Google to find the pages that link to a site this warning would be appropriate.

The link: command shows very few of the actual links known by Google.  Use Yahoo! instead.

Related: Query Type

For a user that thinks they may actually find a web page that is similar to another using the related: query, they should be shown this warning first.

The related: command does not actually show related content.  It shows a random sampling of pages, often from the same site.

Page One Results

It’s time Google came clean on the first page of results, a little honesty can go a long way to building trust. This warning should show up on the top of the page, next to the Google logo.

The first page is reserved for wiki, about.com, ebay and craigslist.  For real results please go to page 2.

Preferred Cloaking Partners

It’s lesser know fact that some sites are above the law and can cloak their content to Google such that they’ll be indexed and ranked on content behind a log-in page, they’ve decided to not abolish this practice nor include a “subscription required” tag, so to that end I offer the following label.

We have made a special arrangement with this site.  You will be forced to sign-up or pay for the content.

Google Webmaster Tools

Webmasters are inspired to sign-up and utilize the Google Webmaster Tools because of all of the great statistics they provide. What is not clearly defined is that those statistics are only available if you’ve got a ridiculously high PageRank and when show they are extremely out-dated.

Webmaster Tools is rarely updated.  This data is for your amusement only.

Google Reader

In the interest of full disclosure new users of the Google Reader should be forewarned of its lack of functionality.

Though known for search, we have yet to figure out how you can search for that feed you read 3 weeks ago.

Google Webmaster Help Group

Webmasters are constantly conned into the belief that they may actually get some official help from Google on their official help group. The reality is that you will more likely find active Googlers on private blogs and forums that sponsor open bars at SEO conferences.

Though the official forum for webmasters, comments from Googlers is on other private blogs.

The last one is not related to Google other than the great Matt Cutts recommends that

Once a user has done a certain number of posts/edits, or has been around for long enough to build up trust, then those nofollows could be removed and the links could be trusted. Anytime you have a user that you’d trust, there’s no need to use nofollow links.

Apparently the thousands of comments on his blog are from untrusted and unreliable sources as he still has all of them nofollowed. If you operate such a blog where you cannot take the time nor care to watch the links on it, then this label should be prominently displayed on top of every page.

The owner of this blog does not appreciate nor trust his/her commentators therefore follow the links with caution.

Of course I appreciate my commentators and will editorially accept links that are left in my comments.

This post could not have been completed without the excellent web tool of the warning label generator. Please feel free to create your own and share with everyone!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2007 at 8:53 pm and is filed under Google. 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 19 responses to “Warnings Google Needs to Incorporate”

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 August 16th, 2007, DazzlinDonna said:

    Very amusing. Only important truths can truly make us laugh. :)

  2. 2 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 16th, 2007, Michael VanDeMar said:

    Heh! Very nice job, thanks. :D

  3. 3 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 16th, 2007, g1smd said:

    I like this. I hope Matt Cutts sees this.

    Should raise a laugh. Maybe he might suggest a few more….

  4. 4 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 16th, 2007, CasieG said:

    “the first page is reserved for wiki, about.com, ebay…” hilarious

  5. 5 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 16th, 2007, Gidseo said:

    Nice one.

  6. 6 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 16th, 2007, Richie said:

    I love the link: warning in particular - “Use Yahoo! instead”

  7. 7 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 16th, 2007, New Zealand Photos said:

    Hmm - a lot of thought and time has gone into those images - well done. I think you have done very well indeed.

  8. 8 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 16th, 2007, Simon Heseltine said:

    Amusing, have a Sphinn :)

  9. 9 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 17th, 2007, g1smd said:

    Ooops. There is a spelling error on one. “Your” should be “you”.

  10. 10 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 17th, 2007, John Honeck "JLH" said:

    g1smd - Which one is mispelled?

    Thanks for all of your comments.

    New Zealand Photos I don’t play that anchor text used as a name game, plus your account was suspended, pay your bill :)!

  11. 11 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 18th, 2007, Andy Beard said:

    Heh, some 16 year old Google fanboy gave this a thumb down on SU. Did that kill traffic?

    I suppose some people can’t handle humour or ironic truth.

  12. 12 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 18th, 2007, Noop Fra said:

    hahaha .. so true.. always wondered if i was the only person who found google tools and results not up-to-date.. i am relieved.. maybe i was right, maybe the emperor really has no clothes..

  13. 13 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 18th, 2007, John Honeck "JLH" said:

    Andy, thanks for SU. It’s really my first time experiencing it with this topic so I’m not sure what to expect for the traffic. I think it’s approaching 800 referrals from stumbleupon.

  14. 14 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 18th, 2007, Matt Cutts said:

    Well, I got a laugh out of it. If anything, it’s like a reminder list of things people care about.

    JLH, when you say copyright 1968 in your footer, does that mean that you were the very first blogger? :)

  15. 15 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 18th, 2007, John Honeck "JLH" said:

    Matt, I’m glad you’ve got a sense of humor about these kind of things.

    Regarding the c. 1968, as I said on my about page, “Since people have asked, the (c) at the bottom is MY copyright, the blog hasn’t been around since 1968, I have.”

  16. 16 MyAvatars 0.2 On August 22nd, 2007, working gringa said:

    very funny… and oh so true. Matt Cutts, take notes!

  17. 17 MyAvatars 0.2 On September 2nd, 2007, Andrew Heenan said:

    Very good - and mostly right on the nail!

  18. 18 MyAvatars 0.2 On September 2nd, 2007, Rose Sylvia said:

    I love it. Do you suppose someone collects feedback like this to share with anyone with the authority to drive improvements at Google? When I was at IBM we had some exceptional executives who were wise enough to go straight to the source for their information which was vital because first level managers were adept at “protecting” them from the truth.

    I found that the brilliant people were in the trenches and at the upper levels. The path to management that alternated technical and management positions supported the “Peter Principle” of leaving someone in whatever position they were worst at - unless they were wise enough to back up one.

  19. 19 MyAvatars 0.2 On September 7th, 2007, John Honeck "JLH" said:

    Update: On 9/5/2007 Google figured out how to add search to their reader.

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