Why Google Can’t Answer All Of Your Questions About Your Site

    August 28, 2013
    Chris Crum

In a new Google Webmaster Help video, Matt Cutts talks about why Google can’t answer all of your questions. He responds to the following question:

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.

“The problem is fundamentally a scale issue,” Cutts explains. “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 two billion queries a day, 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,” he continues. “We’ll keep looking for new ways to do better. We’ll keep looking for new 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 okay,’ or ‘No, you still have work to do,’ or in some cases, we process 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.”

This seems like an example of where a one-on-one conversation would be of tremendous help to the webmaster. As we talked about earlier, one webmaster was complaining in the forum that Google warned him about a natural link in a reconsideration request, leaving him wondering what he’s supposed to do with that.

But it’s hard to argue with Matt’s point about scalability. Google is huge, but do you really think the search team could thoroughly go through every site’s issues with the webmaster individually?


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.