We have reported time after time again the issues with Google's Webmaster Central tools, specifically Sitemaps. It is a wonderful tool, it allows you to see a ton of data about your site plus submit data back to Google. But some folks are losing trust in the information Google is sending back to you via Webmaster Central.
A thread at WebmasterWorld recounts some of the issues people have repeatedly had with the Sitemaps tool. They include (but not limited to):
- Robots.txt Google Sitemaps Bug Fixed
- Google Webmaster Sitemaps Tool Back With Old Data?
- Google's Sitemap Tool Showing Random Pages in Highest PageRank Stat
- Google Sitemaps Tools Sends All Sites Back into Pending Verification?
- Google Sitemaps Robots.txt Validator Does Not Properly Validate
A recent report at WebmasterWorld shows that some people are noticing that the "Home page crawl" that shows the last time Googlebot crawled your home page in Google Webmaster Central, is not on par with the Google Cache date. Now, Google explained this before, the cache date is different that the crawl date, but it should say so on this page - so Webmasters don't lose trust in that data.
I am seeing the same thing here. "Home page crawl: Googlebot last successfully accessed your home page on Nov 18, 2006." Yet my logs show that the googlebot has been downloading my home page several times in the last days.
This causes some Webmasters to lose trust in these tools.
Especially some of the reports that show Webmasters that there are no pages of their site in the index, when in fact they are and they are ranking just fine. Yes, that is an other bug people have noticed, but I did not report.
I personally give new software a lot of time to mature and get the kinks out. But how much time is too much time?
I haven't trusted Webmaster Tools to reflect accurate information for some time. There are ongoing issues with site verification, where previously verified sites suddenly need to be verified again, then when verification is attempted, it won't work.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.