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How Can Google Help Your Website in 2012?

Google really wants to know. So do we. Tell us.

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How Can Google Help Your Website in 2012?
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Google uses Google+ probably more than anyone else out there (except for maybe Robert Scoble), and regardless of whether or not you have added it to your daily social networking routine, it continues to provide a great channel for getting to know Google better.

That doesn’t just go for helping your search rankings (which it can), but it provides a direct line of communication with many, many Googlers. It’s a great place to get advice from Google, and to share feedback. And it’s not just empty feedback. They’re actively participating in meaningful conversations with users, and have shown that they are taking ideas into consideration (for example, see recent Gmail integration).

This week, Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller posted the following in a Google+ update:

“Google has tried a lot of new things this year when it comes to webmaster support — such as the hangouts in a variety of languages. Which parts do you all think we should work on next year? How can we make it easier for you all to make awesome websites, which are easily findable in web-search?”

“More hangouts? videos? more documentation? more detailed examples?”

This seems like a good opportunity to not only to raise this question ourselves with our readers, but to spread the question further, because you can actually participate in this conversation and possibly have an impact on future Google offerings, which can in turn benefit your site in the long run, and after a crazy year of algorithm changes, I’m sure many of you are looking for any leg up possible.

Google has already been hosting a slew of webmaster hangouts on Google+, and if you haven’t been taking advantage of this, why not? You are getting free access to some advice right from the horse’s mouth.

If you read WebProNews regularly, you should also know that Google puts out a lot of webmaster videos, generally starring Matt Cutts. We cover them fairly frequently, because they’re generally full of helpful knowledge for webmasters. Even when they contain things you already knew, sometimes it helps to be reminded of certain things, or Cutts might present the topic in a slightly different light than you looked at it before. It’s a good idea to watch these videos.

Here are some of the responses Mueller has received to his question so far:

Thomas Morffew: More people like you John, that are real faces, and available to help.

Sandip Dedhia: I agree with +Thomas Morffew, more Googlers who are open to speak about issues which webmasters are facing. In post panda era most of the replies on webmaster forum are so generic that it is hard to make out what is the exact cause of penalty or search traffic drop.

I would suggest some case studies around those websites who managed to recover from different penalties, like the reasons of penalty and steps they took to recover from that penalty.

Ramon Somoza: Certainly some assistance for multilingual sites would a great help.

Lincoln Jaeger: There could be more direct interaction going on through the webmasters console, with regards to flagging up issues, for example.

Bret Sutherland: When will Google shopping/product search get staff who are open and responsive?

Do you agree with any of these commenters? Have other ideas?

How Can Google Help Your Website in 2012?
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  • http://www.cpcstrategy.com/blog CPC_Andrew

    Cool article Chris. Thanks for sharing. I hope too Google Product Search becomes more responsive in 2012.

    One thing Google might think about is enhancing user controls on search results. Maybe a ‘want to search local?’ or ‘want to support small businesses?’ type filters can enhance the control of the user and boost the relevance of results from Google.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      With regards to the product search point, I’d be surprised if we don’t see Google get more active in conversation on Google+ in just about all of its product areas. Especially if enough people cite that as something they want to see. They’ve convinced me that they really do read the feedback people leave on their Google+ posts.

  • John Snowden

    One thing I have found over the years is the inability to trust Google handling my web. This time two weeks ago I could put in any of my keywords and there I would be on the first page, where I have been for some time, now if as by magic any of my keywords does not show my web in at least the first 30 search pages, why do they keep doing this, when all is settled now I have to have a total rewrite of my web to try and re-coupe some business, this is thoughless and arrogant of Google to play with peoples livelyhoods like this, I have been on the internet with 3 sites for over 15 years but it is now becoming a joke. These are peoples lives you are messing up, its hard enough in this economic clime without your childish games.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      The algorithm changes all the time. Signals are constantly tweaked. They recently cranked up the volume on recency.That may have something to do with it.

      • David

        Like I’ve said before Chris. You obviously work for Google or are simply a Google Whore. Like countless others and the numbers are growing, many have just about had all the “algorithm” crap we can stomach. I’m fortunate that my business does not have to rely on Google for enough traffic and sales conversions to sustain my bussiness. Many others are not so fortunate. I relocated all of my resources to Bing, Yahoo, and various other venues about a year ago and it was the best business decision I think I’ve ever made. Many more will follow as Google continues to run small business internet marketing and advertisers into the ground. Do they care? Not one bit, they only care about taking over total control of the internet. And biased a–holes like you only make it worse.

  • http://cvancura.com Curtis V

    For my business, it is very valuable to me to be able to find search terms on a page with a one click find first, next, etc. Also, I would like the option to exclude pages that only refer to the search term. ( I want Google to return only pages with the term actually on the page.)

    • http://sspr.com/ Geoff Simon

      They used to have a search operator to handle this, i believe it’s “allintext: your term” as well as “intext: fistwordonly”.

  • http://bladdercancerfight.blogspot.com/ Guy Hussar

    Please Google, make your fabulous many options just easier to option – don’t require me to read pages of lengthy explanation. Just do what you sometimes do: present a tick-box option alongside a help query sign for those who wish to know more.

    For instance, below this comment box there is an offer “You may use these HTML tags etc. I have no idea what this is, how I would use them, etc – so here, a ‘?’ link would enable me to find out.

    But thanks for all your offerings – I really appreciate what you do.

  • http://www.skin-care-solution.org Skin Care Solution

    Hi Chris, it is not only Matt Cutts who reminds us of new trends, you do also. You just mentioned the webmaster’s hangout. I never paid attention to it before but now after this I should take it seriously.

  • Adrian

    Google can help business in 2012 by being broken up by the anti-trust investigations and also by not destroying people’s livelihood overnight and putting spam websites in their place.

  • http://www.thompsonstoyota.com Scott Titensor

    Allow us to communicate with Google regarding problems with Google Places Pages. We strive to maintain Acurate Information and Google gets our dealerships mixed-up. We email but sometimes it seems fruitless.

  • http://www.midicanal.nl frans van houten

    I have 3 adwords accounts for 3 web sites but to my frustration google even does not find my most recent site www.midicanal.nl
    This stops me from using adwords for this site.
    What is wrong with this ?

  • http://www.watsons-stretworks.com Steve Watson

    A little off your question but I wish Google would wrap all of their “elements” that I use under one umbrella – Google, Ad Words, gmail, Google Places, etc. I should be able to go to one site and have all of my business’s Google features tied together and accessible almost as one.

  • http://www.RobertTanguay.com Bill Brumner

    Make more opportunities for publishers to generate revenue besides adsense – for example let us sell local listings since google has inserted their paid local listings in the organic search results in addition to the 1-3 adwords advertisements.

    Google is a great company, much better than most.

  • http://www.electric-reviews.org Mark Demers

    I`ve been losing search traffic to my TVonPC Reviews page lately and I don`t know why.
    The “Did you mean?” at the top of search results is taking away from my page views.
    Some sites like mine sometimes rely on misspelled words to find our way to the top in search and if they keep this “Did you mean?” at the top it will take me back to square one with this page which was my most important page in keeping my site going and profitable.
    Get rid of that statement at the top and quit trying to fix everyone`s spelling.
    My biggest thing I would like to see is reasons listed for a drop in search rankings or at least a reason why a site don`t climb (and sometimes drops) when new articles are published.
    Try to be more open about everything so we know where we stand and we don`t have to check everything on a site as often for problems they see and could point out to us easily.

  • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    For the new year …
    Google could make me happy by sending me a tall stack of 100′s.
    Happy New Year To All!

  • Bill

    The internet used to be a place where the little guy could compete reasonably well with the big boys. That seems to have gone by the wayside. If funding for some heavy SEO work, isn’t there shall we stop before we start? So, with that said, is there any interest from Google to help the little start ups succeed? What about those of us, who use a Mac? We have seen how “nice” the big guys play when they gain full control – just look at the lending industry. Common Google – support the little guy!

  • http://pkbm-tebar.page4.me/ pkbm tebar

    Good information, thanks Cris…

    greetings.

  • http://www.netcommercial.net Simon F

    Website Commercial
    I would like to see a better ranking for a website commercial. Since the natural progression of the net is to have a commercial for One’s website. Some websites are lacking a bit of Text or Content, as it is condensed; in an easy identifiable website commercial.
    Perhaps recognizing a website commercial as content? Creating a code for your algorithms to identify a website commercial as content?
    Best Regards
    Netcommercial.net
    I think an embed is allowed here?

  • http://lssolutions.biz Leo Schneider

    I am thinking of shutting down my website because I’m not getting any business from it.I’m just a 1 man service business and can’t justify spending a lot on this.

  • http://www.unity-store.net Unity Store Handmade

    Google should help webmasters to develop applications easy to integrate into their websites.

  • steven

    FOR US OLDER SENIORS CAN YOU PLEASE! HAVE A AUDIO ON MAKING A WEBSITE,NO ONE THINKS OF US AND BEING OLDER MANY CANT READ FAST,AND TRY TO KEEP UP,LIKE THE SAYING GOES I CANT WALK AND CHEW GUM AT THE SAME TIME!HOW TRUE
    REALLY IF THERE WAS A AUDIO WE CAN LISTEN TO STEPS 1-? I THINK IT WOULD HELP US AND BE A BLESSING,MANY THANKS TO YOU HAVE A BLESSED HOLIDAY SEASON TO ALL. , I WOULD BE HONORED TO BE YOUR SENIOR ADVOCATE FOR GOOGLE,THEY CAN WRITE ME AND I COULD GET THE ANSWERS FOR THEM OR I CAN USE MY WEB CAM FOR SEMINARS ON HOW TO.I BET GOOGLE WILL GET MANY RESPONSES IF YOU DID OR TRIED THIS.WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?CONTACT ME.

  • sj

    The best thing Google could do for searchers and webmasters would be to focus their efforts into developing algorithms that can ferret out websites based on good, original content. As webmasters we need to be putting our efforts into providing quality content not running around the web twitting and liking and +ing. We have businesses to run, jobs to do, lives outside the web (at least I hope so!)and websites to keep current. What we don’t have time for is all the nonsensical social networking claptrap that Google is forcing on webmasters in order for their sites to be successful.
    That’s my story and I’m stickin to it! :)

  • http://www.essexportal.co.uk/ Jon Wade

    While Google support can certainly be good at times, it is when there is nothing but a wall of silence that we are quickly reminded of how little support there really is.

  • http://www.sca0012.com vera

    I truly like Google, it’s easy to find what I want and I always recommend google to my friends to look up what ever they need, I hope and pray google don’t change and also what it does for my web site, my site if you put the right word in google my site will come up and I love that most of all because I’m a small business owner and I need all the help I can get abd google helps me a lot.

  • Peter

    Is it realy a question of findability, or is it the fact that there are just so many site finds you can only be somewhere among the first 1,000 except where the search is specific to your site?

  • http://www.theprofitfrog.com Terri

    Be contactable.
    The one thing that infuriates me MOST about Google is that if there is ever a problem, there are these convoluted, time consuming and mostly unresponsive stages of FAQ style prompts to go through, so that by the time I have even worked out what direction to go in, I have given up because it is all too bloody complicated.
    It leaves me with the feeling that you’re all just a bit too precious to be contacted.
    Yes, Google is HUGE but clearly it doesn’t believe in customer service because to date when I have had issues with any Google related matter, it has been near impossible to engage in contact with a HUMAN.
    Only when my Adwords account fell behind in payment did I have someone – a real person – contact me, and total credit to him (or her – can’t recall now) for the patience, tolerance and understanding that was shown me.
    Lift the game, Google. BE CONTACTABLE – with REAL people, not just these bloody forums and FAQ areas.
    It would certainly put you ahead of the crowd.

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  • https://www.youtube.com/user/VikingLegend?feature=mhee kurt andersen

    Google can stop messing with YT and ruining it for everyone–people who for years worked on their channels to get what they want–thank you–Kurt

  • http://grmike.blogspot.com Grmike

    Congratulation to google on their new search engine analytics.
    But AdSense it would be nice to offer free trials. The coupons to start out with are great but they are advertised as if anyone even people who don’t want to use a credit card can take advantage of it. It would be nice to let people try it out without having to provide that.

  • Errol

    All I want for Xmas is a decent FTP app for Chrome…

  • http://www.oink.co.za Craig Nuttley

    While google Maps is a great tool for browsers, travellers, seekers of service locations etc, I feel that Google is placing her maps at the top of Google search results for specific key words/phrases whether the search is location driven (eg: Car service in Langley)or not. As a webmaster I find more often than not Google Maps at the top of search results with close proximity area results. In other words when seeking a service in Midrand, Google Maps will show results of Sandton, Edenvale and areas in close proximity to Midrand but not necessarily in Midrand. I think all webmasters will agree (especially webmasters of directories) that we spend massive amounts of time and energy placing our clients and in recent times, Google has simply placed her maps including “in close proximity” results. This is killing the search and kills competition to Google. More than this, it is frustrating for webmasters due tio it appearing somewhat unfair.

  • http://www.facebook.com/notes/security-camera/alert-logitech-wireless-outside-cameras/286375034734522 ALERT LOGITECH

    Nice article, thank you
    I hope in 2012 Google can help to my small business

  • BizzyBee

    I have about 20 pages of complaints about their Shopping. As far as their algorythm is concenred, it needs to be shoved up Larry Page’s keister. As for the comment Bret Sutherland: When will Google shopping/product search get staff who are open and responsive?

    my answer When H3!! freezes over. googles shopping/product personel do not know whats going on, the programmers of the Merchant Center don’t know the difference between exempt and critical errors.

    Items uploaded are randomly accepted or disallowed. Disallowed items have content that is previously allowed by other sellers and even the seller in question. Like I said, I have 20 pages of complaints.

  • http://www.percetakanku.co.id Mitrakom Fajar Utama

    Development of a rapid google, really helped us, thank you google

  • http://www.tenddeapact.com Alex-Tenddeapact Solutions

    I think Google should focus on content and freshness to ease the stress on the unnecessary SEO battle that is fast becoming unreasonable.

    • http://seocompanylosangeles.info/ isnan

      yes i agree with you, unique content and fresh idea is more important to rank in SERP Google.

  • karen

    Help me please .. and all of us hoping to live in a more peaceful world.

    We need a way to communicate with legislative bodies easily .. writing e – letters takes too much time for many of us working folks.

    We need a stream lined way for voices and opinions to be heard .. not just ours in America but a good way for our opinions to be expressed in multi languages .. instant translation

    By creating a world wide forum .. we can work together for peaceful ways to live by exchange of trade .. or volunteer service

    How can we join together to be united in this reguard in a simple peaceful way?

    You can e mail me back at karen42hope@yahoo.com
    thank you!

  • http://seoxl.eu/ Ray

    I hope it will not affect my websites and hope panda will remain the same, but that isn’t sure.

  • Ken

    It is my feeling and belief that Google, Yahoo and Bing have all contributed to the world’s economic imbalance that exists today, simply by the methods that they use to display search results. In the beginning, everything was equal. And then along comes Google, a company that couldn’t put their website together in a logical way, such as how a phone book has been set up for decades, simply by category and putting everything in alphabetical order, thereby giving everyone a fair chance of having their business found, if a person had a rough idea of what geographic area to search in. Instead, Google has, singlehandedly I might add, put sites with the most searches at the top of their list and the ones with the least at the bottom, so as time goes on, those that started pretty much randomly at the bottom as they began their business are now suffering the consequences of Google’s “rating system” AND I also might add that the ones that pretty much randomly ended up at the top of the list, did so because of how Google placed those listings at the top to begin with, doesn’t mean that they have the best product or service. All it means is that their listing happened at just the right time, just before Google began falsely pumping up the ratings of those businesses and continually pushing them to the top, regardless of the quality of product or service.

    I might also add that because of how everyone seems to have put all their trust into Google for delivering them information that they are searching for, without regard to the other sites that didn’t make it to the top, many many wonderful small businesses have folded up, not because their product wasn’t good enough, but because Google didn’t care about any of that when they set up their false and over-promoting rating system.

    If we were all allowed to have our share of the business, the economy wouldn’t be in the dreadful condition it’s in right now, but the rich want all the rest of the money in the world too, regardless of how many people they have to run over to get it. Could it be that Google falls into that category too?

  • http://www.greyolltwit.com/ Grey Olltwit

    Google could appreciate more, websites that have been around longer than they have. Those of us who have been in their results from the beginning should be left alone more, rather than regularly being moving us up and down the results pages like a yoyo. Google should concentrate more on newer sites rather than keep clouting the well established ones.

  • http://www.copy-e-writing.in/blog Ron’s Copywriting Blog

    Google Plus is here to stay! The sooner you get into it, more ahead of others you will be.

  • http://pelangiinspirasi.wordpress.com Wiwik Hidayati

    Can I get the words in index so that I Can increase my website in SEO?

  • Jan

    How about something so that we can submit a site…for example if it has amazing content, good SEO, an average amount of good links, some age, and yet something seems to make it rank for everything except the main keyword phrase. Maybe come back and give us just a couple of ideas to improve it just a little bit more when we are completely out of ideas…

  • Wes

    I do not usually reply to articles, however there are some valid points about what google says and does…example, if you listen to the preaching of Matt C, it is content, content, content….however if you take a minute and look at sites like uline that before panda had almost no organic rankings, bam, post panda and they are all over page 1 for a variety of terms and the interesting thing to me is, THEY HAVE NO CONTENT… no text, no in-depth descriptions, nothing.

    It begs the question…is it all about the content?

  • http://www.elsitiodelavilla.com Ricardo A. Ramos

    I notice that my competitors take advantage of a clear weakness of Google to detect tourist sites in Spanish with useless and irrelevant content written solely to generate thousands of indexed pages with links to dozens of other domains with slightly different content and to obtain very prominent positions within the first results of the organic index. I think the advances in spamindex are quite weak when searching in Spanish language for tourist information. I also see many tourist webs made ​​only to show Adsense ads which rank in very high places often before the useful content.
    I hope that doing the right things Google will recognize our work but sometimes I feel afraid that my competitors laugh from me not spamming the index.
    A good 2012!

  • http://www.freedomoffshore.com Freedom

    Google should warn us about two months ahead of their changes and tell us exactly what they are going to be looking for in ranking sites so that web masters can prepare ahead of time and make the needed changes.