It is rare to read a post by a Googler in the Google help forums and get the impression that the Googler was angry with who he/she was replying to. So when I saw Googler Asaph Zemach reply to the ongoing thread on the Webmaster Tools link report bug with, what appeared to me as, anger - I was a bit taken back.
The story goes as follows... SEO comes in and asks why the link report in Google Webmaster Tools looks wrong. Googler Asaph Zemach confirms the issue and said Google will work on fixing the issue with the report. Soon later the webmaster expressed his concern that he lost a lot of traffic, likely related to Panda and wanted to know if the bug here had any impact. Asaph explained calmly and clearly that no, they are unrelated and the report bug has no impact on Panda and rankings.
But a few webmasters came back in basically saying that they felt it was related because of the timing of the bug. The bug occurred around the same time as the ranking drop.
Google's Asaph replied with, like I said, what appears to be with anger:
I will not discuss recent ranking changes. We have created a thread for that. We are aware of the issues people are seeing in their link counts and are working on this. We appreciate you reporting these issues to us but please don't make assumptions about how they impact ranking.
Of course, maybe it was not a snappy response by the Googler. Maybe it was just a long day and me reading too much into the text here. But I read a ton of Googler responses and these webmasters are suffering - worried if they will be able to pay their mortgages, put food on the table and continue to pay their employees. And as JeffCT, the webmaster who started the original thread, said:
No one from Google is discussing anything in the thread you reference. The last time anyone from Google posted was 2 months ago this week!
Again - I understand both sides - asked and answered vs. suffering webmaster. I don't blame either side. The only reason I am documenting this is because you rarely see a Googler respond in this tone to a webmaster.
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.
Photo credit to xlibber on Flickr.