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).
“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?