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What is Google doing to provide support to webmasters?

What is Google doing to provide support to webmasters? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

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.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: