Many Google videos and much Google documentation refers webmasters to the page:
This webpage used to contain a wealth of information that was useful to new and/or struggling webmasters. It explained and linked to several resources that helped the webmaster community.
Rather unbelievably, the page now is almost worthless to new webmasters, and I would argue downright confusing.
To show you what I am talking about here…
Google Webmaster Central History
Let’s look at the Google webmaster central page year by year shall we?
See this page? It answers common webmaster questions prominently like “Why isn’t my page listed?” and “How do I get my site listed on Google?”
Nice page Google – Kudos. I wonder if you can make it better…
Wow, you made it better! More concise, and answering more common questions. Where you can’t answer the question fully you link to resources that do. Boy oh wow you guys are swell to new webmasters! Thanks! Wonder if you could make it better…
Holy helpful Batman!
This page is even better now and has a nice simple layout with oh so friendly icons, awwww. You really do like us webmasters. Shucks.
Could it get better?
Wow oh Wow!!!!
Look at all that stuff you have that helps ‘lil ole me the webmaster! Such a great array of things, and it is all laid out in friendly terms, and I know what to do because you have it all broken down in chunks like “Improve traffic with Webmaster tools” and “find answers to webmaster questions” and “learn more about your site” and “submit your content to Google”.
So informative! So useful!
I can’t wait to see what you do next…
What the f**k?
This page is useless. Crappy crap it is.
A wealth of vastly improved tools and resources are now provided by the Google webmaster team, and they have made such great progress in the last couple of years, but most of their improvements are now invisible to the new webmaster because of the limited nature of the new “Google webmaster central” page.
Google has mentioned and referenced the Google webmaster central page as a “one-stop shop for webmaster resources” and a place for new webmasters to go.
That advice is not sound anymore.
Why would a new webmaster need a rich snippet testing tool? (note: The rich snippet tool is ultra cool and a great resource, but is it really of any use whatsoever to webmasters in general?)
Google Base? Google base is promoted heavily as well. Again, a great product but not so great to the general webmaster having problems.
The most prominent chunk of real estate goes to signing in to “Webmaster Tools”. If I were a new webmaster and saw this, I would probably think…
Hmmm, “Webmaster Tools”, sounds like a page where there are a whole bunch of tools for webmasters. Sounds great, I guess I will create an account or log in”
The problem here is that when they do sign in they are redirected to the Webmaster Tools page – which is utterly and completely worthless to someone until they take a whole bunch of additional steps and time goes by.
The page does not even say what Webmaster Tools is.
This simply does not pass my bullshit detector. If I see a link that says “cat” I expect to go to a “cat” page.
For Google not to define what “Webmaster Tools” is, and to redirect users to a page that has no tools available to be used at that moment, and in addition require people to login or create a new account simply to not get what they are expecting is pretty much plain and simple wrong.
I think new webmasters deserve a page on Google where they can go to get general information about what to do next or how to solve and identify their problems.
Google webmaster central utterly fails to do this now.
My specific complaints…
This page does not answer any questions.
This page does not explain or even attempt to define any tools, resources, or processes for the new or struggling webmaster. (except for Google Base? WTF?)
This page does not offer any advice for a webmaster with questions.
This page does not follow the guidelines and recommendations of Google itself .
Food for thought Google… Your “guide to making a Google friendly site” states right at the beginning “Give visitors the information they’re looking for” – it also states “In creating a helpful, information-rich site, write pages that clearly and accurately describe your topic.” (pssst – your topic is helping webmasters and you have literally NO TEXT on this subject whatsoever.)
Hey, but just like anything else I see on the web, if something isn’t up to par, it just means an opportunity for anyone with the gumption to make a better resource.
I have the gumption… Here is my version of Google webmaster tools.