Hi “Doc”, it’s cool to have you here! It’s great that the web removes barriers like the physical distance from here in Switzerland to Australia. Matt has been one of the regular contributors to the Google Webmaster Help Groups since January 2007. He has a diverse background: Agriculture and Computers, an interesting mixture, or how he puts it in his profile (archive.org): “I know about cows and computers” :-).
The last couple years I’ve spent a lot of time in the Google Webmaster Help groups (archive.org). 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.
Websites have become popular targets for hackers, who either try to add elements that automatically download “malware” (viruses, etc) or try to add hidden links (SEO hacking) to other websites. Quite often, these kinds of changes are not recognized by the webmaster or website owner. You could wait until a visitor complains to you or you receive a mail from Google for spreading malware (or having hidden links to “bad places”), but that is slow, unreliable and usually too late.
This post has one main reason: popular sites don’t always get it right. You can also turn that around: you don’t have to get everything right in order to be popular. Never do something on your site just because a large site does it like that. Combine web 2.0 with a search engines, what do you get? Lots of rel=nofollow links (archive.org) :), heh. You’d assume that they could get a few things right with regards to search engine optimization though.
Hello Sebastian! You’re one of the more elusive people in the Google Groups, helping webmasters regularly and often with run-of-the-day problems and providing insight into things that are not so common. Your “no-BS” policy sometimes seems a bit tough on new users - but by “telling it like it is” you can get straight to the point and help where it hurts. It’s good to have your help in the groups and I’m glad you take the time to help no matter what problems a webmaster is fighting with.
In response to the other statistics regarding the Google Webmaster Help groups (archive.org), JLH (archive.org) asks (archive.org): I always wonder about a statistic, I call them Drive-by-posters. Those who come in and make a post, only to be never heard of again, even though their questions may be answered. Let’s take a quick look at who posts in the groups (how long they’ve been active), who starts new threads and a short dissection of what first-time posters do on the group and how they evolve from there.
Hi John, it’s great to have you here for a virtual interview! John is one of the strong posters who make up the backbone of the Google Webmaster Help forums. His blog at http://www.jlh-design.com/ (archive.org) is strong on all things SEO, is quite popular and dares to ask uncomfortable questions that need to be asked. His detailed knowledge of the Google Webmaster Guidelines and the penalties resulting from abuse of them has helped many webmasters to improve their sites and to get them back into the Google index.
Just for fun, here are some lists and numbers for the month of July 2007. Some numbers … Number of new threads = 1262 Number of new posts = 7754 Average number posts/new thread = 5.74 Number of posts by new users = 816 (10.5%) Number of threads by new users = 717 (56.8%) Average number of posts in threads by new users = 5.0 Number of new threads started by Googlers = 3 Number of new posts by Googlers = 85 Top posters webado (archive.
Hi Christina, it’s great to have you here for a virtual interview! For those who don’t know, Christina is one of the top contributors to the Google Webmaster Help forums (archive.org). Just this month she managed to post over 1'000 replies (as a comparison, slightly over 7'400 postings were made this month in total, giving her more than 13% of all postings for the month). She is also a moderator in several other forums, runs her own hosting and web design company and has a family.