Google on Notification of Webmaster Guideline Violations

    September 14, 2009
    Chris Crum

One thing that Google is pretty good at is providing resources for webmasters to learn from. The regular videos from Matt Cutts in which he answers user-submitted questions are no different. It just happens to be this very topic that is addressed in the latest upload.

Question: Whenever Google detects a violation of its Webmaster Guidelines, can we expect a feature to be added in Google Webmaster Central where it could help the webmasters learn what the issue was?

In his response, Cutts talks about Google providing advice in a scaleable way. As he says, the web has tens of millions of domains and billions of pages. "Even if we put everybody in the entire company on customer support, trying to talk one on one, we wouldn’t have the resources where we could talk to every single webmaster, and have a prolonged dialogue," says Cutts.

So Google’s strategy is to try to communicate to webmasters on a large scale, and let one person say something that a lot of people can learn from. They do that with these videos. They do it with their many blogs, their forums, etc.

So when it comes to things like violations of webmaster guidelines, they try to be scaleable in that as well. He says the company continues to look for ways where they can do that, but while they want to let people know about things, they don’t want to let the "bad guys" know they know about them, and have them start over and try to find new ways to cheat and be sneaky.

Cutts says Google gives more attention to mom & pop-type sites, and sites they think have good intentions, but may not realize some of the things they are doing are not good. An example he gives is letting webmasters know if their site has been hacked, or even if it’s hackable. "Perhaps you’re using an old version of WordPress or some other piece of software…" he says.

So they send messages to a lot of webmasters. And they try to alert what they perceive to be the good guys. In other words, don’t expect new features in Webmaster Central every time Google learns of a new issue.

Cutts does note that Google is always open to other ways to try and improve communication, and encourages suggestions in the forums and blog comments.