Update: Adam Lasnik, Vanessa Fox and a whole host of Google webmaster help group regulars comment on this article. Adam and Vanessa skirt the “coffe cup” issue, but I still appreciate them taking the time to come by
This is great stuff, and has been the number one request of group participants since last year. I started a post there about ways to improve the groups that became quite lengthy with the amount of people responding (Google should thank it’s lucky stars to have that many people providing that much great feedback and putting it all together in one post), but the number one request over all has been to have more of a Google presence in the discussions.
Google resisted this which I did not understand. They have worked their butts off making that group into a successful one by implementing many changes that the community requested but they totally ignored the number one request, in fact, Vanessa Fox and Adam really lessened their own participation and they lost alot of the people and interest that they had worked so hard to get.
I never said this before but I stopped participating in that forum because of Googles/Adams seeming lack of interest and pushing aside of the one over riding issue that virtually everyone of their regular participants had. That issue was a stronger and more active Google presence. If they were not going to listen to their community then I didn’t really want to be part of it. I moved on. This is not a critique of Adam, who is a really nice guy, but is a critique of Google and their lack of giving back to the core people who work their butts off in that group. How hard would it be to write some paragraphs like the ones below and put them on webmaster central? Print some t-shirts and mail them. Give out a couple coffee cups. Thank your community worker bees. Argghh.
Speaking of which, here are some great people (other than the obviously wonderful “Constant Traveler” [That would be me] ) that have for a long time made the Google webmaster help group and very good place to be and an interesting place to hang out.
JLH is a long time active member of Google webmaster group. He has answered questions like “How long does it take my site to be indexed?” thousands of times. He has even started a very useful Google webmasters FAQ website of his own that compliments the Google group. His Blog has some great insights and has even got a mention or two from bigwigs like Matt Cutts.
Softplus takes the time to answer technical questions and was great source of inspiration to me when I was a crazily active member of the Google webmaster help group. Sofplus developed a great Google sitemap creator called Gsitecrawler with many many bells and whistles for someone in the know to take advantage of. It is quite impressive that he supported his sitemap creator with a Google group of it’s own where users of his software can get quick answers to their questions.
Webado has always been a presence in the Google webmaster help group and like a champ she has really done the very respectable and simple thing of providing help to others. I think the ideal situation would be that if someone gets their question answered in this group they would then try to answer someone else question. But unfortunately that doesn’t happen. Luckily there are people like Webado to pick up the slack and provide patience and help to newcomers. Thanks Webado. Also of note, I think she gave feedthebot one of it’s first links when I first wrote that site and she also has a blog where I just learned about the newest Google group :).
Robbo rocks and has steadily provided help to others since this group began.
Halfdeck is also a constant force in the Google group and has a great blog that I was just writing about because of his post 21 Reasons Why Anti-Nofollow SEOs Canâ€™t Think Straight which I loved and he too has been a great contributor both on the forum and off. I just saw your name in a thread and I thought “Doh!”
There are too many people to mention that make that group rock, and make it a very valuable place for newbies to go to find out some real answers based on experience. If any of you guys who know me as “Constant traveler” want some link love, let me know. You deserve it.
Thanks to all of you who make that place work!