Moving to a new office in September

Posted on 20 August 2007 at 0:09 UTC, filed under News, disclaimer

the dream jobThe last couple years I’ve spent a lot of time in the Google Webmaster Help groups. Most of that time I’ve tried to help people with problems with their websites and Google. Together with the webmaster (every site is unique) and the other active members in the groups we’ve tried to work out where things are going wrong, what needs to be changed and often we’ve been able to fix things so that the website is back in the index, the content is getting found and hopefully, the webmaster has learned a thing or two. The best part for me is when a webmaster not only changes a few technicalities but is also able to take in and implement changes in strategy, changes that make the site even better for his visitors and in the end gets his unique content easily found. I love it when that works out!

I really enjoy these kinds of problems – finding a source of trouble in a giant heap of pages, using experience, guesses and estimations based on a “black box” that we know as Google. These puzzles keep your mind sharp and force you to think in a connected way. Sometimes you have to take a few steps back and look at the overall picture to find the real issues – and that’s something which is hard to do when you’re directly involved. Taking a look at the larger picture is something that takes a bit of practice, and thankfully it’s something that is done often in another place I love to be, cre8asite forums.

There’s a reason why I even got involved with all these puzzles in the first place: I know there is a lot of really important information out there that just can’t be found, and if it’s not findable, it will get lost. Perhaps forever. It might not be the solution to life, the universe and everything, but there is so much out there, online, on the web, that just can’t be found because of some technicality that the webmaster never thought about. On the one had, I want to help the webmaster to get found, on the other hand, I’d love to help the search engines to find his content, regardless of what technicalities he has forgotten.

Taking the next step

You can probably guess what’s coming up next :) .

Come September, I’m going to be working for Google in their Zürich (Switzerland) office. I’m joining the team around the Webmaster Tools as a Webmaster Trends Analyst. Looking at the diagram above, being able to do that just about hits the sweet spot in the center – something I’m good at, something I love doing and then: something they’d even pay me to do. It doesn’t get any better. I can’t wait.

What will that mean for the GSiteCrawler and my other websites?

Fortunately I’ve been able to pass off almost everything to my old company, where they have someone who will be able to take over where I left off. At the moment the main problem is the language barrier (English vs German) – but I’m confident that it will improve. Please be patient as they get up to speed :) – and of course remember that their main business has nothing to do with websites and search engines.

What will that mean for my forum presence?

It would be nice if I could be as present as ever – perhaps with some insights that can help even more. Realistically, however, I know it will take some time before everything settles down and I actually have enough time to do as much as I would like in the forums. Additionally, it will almost certainly mean less speculation on my part about things going on within the “black box” :D . My goal is to make sure that the communication between webmasters and the engineers at Google can continue to grow, in quantity and especially in quality. That might be through forum postings, through blog postings, at conferences or small meet-ups, with the help of tools and personalized notifications, perhaps even on Google-Talk.

What about this blog?

This blog will remain my personal blog. I won’t be speaking on behalf of Google here. The opinions expressed here are and will remain solely my own. Don’t ask me to make a comment on anything if you want an official answer :) . And anyway: don’t trust anyone (even if he will soon work for Google), test it for yourself. Trust me on that. Errmm. Whatever.

Countdown to September

Please bear with me while I’m packing things up, tying up loose ends in the office and generally getting more and more nervous. I have a few blog posts that are prepared (in my head) which I hope to put online and a few more interviews to make. I can’t wait for September. Woohoo!

(The graphic is from Scott Hanselman’s blog, who’s doing the same move at about the same time, only to Microsoft instead. Congratulations, Scott!).

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  1. [...] – Founder of Search Engine Tools, , and now a Googler [...]

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There are 11 comments to this post.
  1. I’m glad for you, it is indeed the dream job and you are more than qualified. I’d imagine that the webmaster community as a whole has no idea what an advocate we have now in Google, it’s great news not only for you but anyone who uses Google.

  2. “What will that mean for my forum presence?” I missed this the first time I read it.

    ANY FORUM PRESENCE BY A GOOGLER would be an improvement! Log on and just tell us the weather, what you had for dinner, the local time, if there is such thing as a -XXX penalty (whoops I snuck a real one in there!!), what’s heavier a pound of feathers or a pound of gold, anything would be appreciated. Any comments with a blue badge lets us know that we are not alone there.

    Hopefully you don’t have to go on one of those 4 month training programs just to be able to answer a few simple questions ( see http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Webmaster_Help-Indexing/msg/fe65b0b0c8b6586c ) still waiting for all of those “additional Googlers”

  3. All the best John! Google will be happy to have you on board, and I hope your expectations will come true.
    Best of luck!
    Sebastian

  4. Hey John…

    I have replied over at cre8asite – But thought I’d give you my congratulations here as well.

    I guess if you are not going to be on the forum as much now, I’ll have to up my bombardment of emails to you with really stupid questions :P … lol

    Personally I think Google got the better deal, and I am sure you will make a big impact on the webmaster tools stuff .. All the best

  5. Thanks for your comments, guys!

    You have me worried about that “pound of feathers” thing, JLH. I’m trying to google that but can’t get any conclusive results either way (at least not from page 2 onwards). Maybe the feathers are not unique enough? Hmm.

  6. Pound of feathers? Try a pound of flesh then LOL

    Congrats John, Google’s lucky to get you, stealing you fom us mere mortals.

    One thing’s bothering me a bit … why did you paint your office? ;)

    And finally… what should I do with the oy-oy meta tags? lol

    Oh, one last request before you vanish: please change “und” to “and” in the stoplist for the keyword analyser tool LOL

  7. Nice. Hope you have fun in the Google team.:)

  8. I cant think of anyone I’ve come across during my short time online with a wider breadth of knowledge or greater capacity to help others tirelessly.

    Fantastic news for Google, and hopefully it wont be a huge loss for the wider community. Very best wished for the future.

    Rgds from Ireland
    Richard

  9. well done – its about time you were paid for all the hard work and commitment you have put in helping webmasters over the years.

  10. You wanted nothing, you asked for nothing… you received everything. You are a true generous person, John. Good luck to you!

  11. John ~ I never really had any use for the GSiteCrawler thingie but your passion and brilliance was obvious to all those around you. You also explain why many hangout in groups helping out others for free (even if we do not have the same aptitude for making cool geeky widgets). It’s about the puzzle!

    Having fun doing what you love inside the “black box” is all you can ask for indeed, enjoy!

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