Googler Snaps At Webmaster Over Panda Update

May 4, 2011 • 8:10 am | comments (13) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

Google Gets AngryIt 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.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: May 3, 2011



05/04/2011 12:24 pm

Google really has taken the low road with Panda fallout. Silence equals death. Hopefully Bing, Yahoo, Blekko and everyone else in search is reading along on the Panda related Webmaster forum thread. If I were those search engines I'd be figuring out how to come up with paid AdSense competitor as one instant method of getting webmasters impacted to jump ship with what they have. Panda search results are all messed up. Very bad results. Almost like going backwards circa 2001, but with far more Google spam filling up the page. Some dumb a$$ at Google has the social bug and thinks search should be polluted with all sorts of grafted on Franken-project.


05/04/2011 03:35 pm

IF webmasters break the rules, they suffer the consequences.. don't break the rules and you don't have to care about links.. Don't think the googler was out of line , snappy or rude.

Michael Martinez

05/04/2011 04:20 pm

It doesn't look like an angry reply to me but as someone who has delivered plenty of "short, cryptic" replies (which I hate when they are directed at me), I know how easy it is to fall into that clipped state of mind when the pressure is on.

Barry Schwartz

05/04/2011 04:23 pm

The image I used on the post doesn't help skew your thoughts on the tone? ;-)

Rick Bucich

05/04/2011 05:06 pm

There is another discussion (not yet weighed in on by a Googler) where massive backlinks are being periodically reported in WMT from an abandoned site and the webmaster notes corresponding drops in rankings/traffic. Difficult to diagnose since the links do not appear to be live at present, rather simply emerge periodically.


05/04/2011 08:06 pm

What rules??? You are #1 for 5 years, and then you are page on page 4 the next day. What rules did you break ?


05/04/2011 09:43 pm

the sites i work on all went up.. but they are fortune 500 brands, so i'm not seeing decreases except in the amount of crap that has clients' trademarked/registered/copyrighted names on it that isn't the client's website. sometimes it's as much as 2,000,000 results, gone from search.. for good.. thank God.. What are these "rules" I speak of? Rules.. have you ever violated even one? Do you run keyword reports using software? Do you do link building? Are all of your links to legitimate businesses? did they all renew their domains? did their sites ever get hacked? (add 2386 more questions that could have caused you to get tagged)


05/04/2011 10:19 pm

Trying to be a smart @ss?

Peter Knight

05/05/2011 11:34 am

They do not provide enough information and ask folks not to make assumptions??? Until there are clear guidelines and complete and understandable info, people will make assumptions.


05/05/2011 02:22 pm

nope.. take this very seriously.


05/06/2011 02:21 am

kind of feel that same snappy rude rich elitist attitude in you dude - the net was built by 100,000 of ordinary webmaster kind of folks not by fortune 500 companies but I guess your gonna buy or bully your way in to the top now - huh!


05/06/2011 04:23 pm

try posting with your real name troll.


08/06/2012 03:22 pm

The image I used on the post doesn't help skew your thoughts on the tone?

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