There is no magical phone line to reach the organic search department at Google. As much as we would love to have the equivalent of the number to the flashing red phone used to reach Batman (Adam West version) in the original series, we have instead a twisted maze of online submission links and help forums. But do not lose hope, depending on your problem, the next step is simply finding the right contact form or help piece.
First, if you are a webmaster, you should bookmark the following five websites:
Second, you should identify your problem. Is it something that you and your team can work out using the above guidelines, blog posts or videos? Do you need to bring in expert help such as an agency? Or are you looking for the page on which to contact Google about your issue?
The following graphic illustrates a few hurdles that Webmasters may face while in charge of a website (the blue boxes). The next course of action to take in order to contact Google about such hurdles is delineated in the arrows. You can read more about the following submissions and requests and find the links on Google’s Webmaster Forum Page: Webmaster Help and Contacts.
Google’s Latest Announcements: Social Reporting and Google Webmaster Tools Updates
Thursday June 30, 2011
MoreVisibility’s Twitterchat (#MVCHAT) took place today. MoreVisibility’s chat was lead by Danielle Leitch, MoreVisibility’s Executive Vice President, and the Agency’s Director of Web Intelligence, Joe Teixiera (@jtex316). As a Google Certified Analytics Partner, MoreVisibility works with several clients on how best to use the interface. Just yesterday, Google made a few major announcements related to the new Social Reporting feature in the Google Analytics Interface. MoreVisibility is very excited for the new tools. The discussion covered:
MVCHAT is a weekly 30 minute discussion starting at 3:30 pm (est) covering a variety of online marketing topics. Clients, advertisers, and online marketing enthusiasts are invited to participate in this rapid-fire conversation by following and including #MVCHAT in tweets. Read more about #MVCHAT in the news here.
Another useful instrument in Google Webmaster Tools is the Sitemap section in Site configuration>>Sitemaps:
Figure 1 – Google Webmaster Tools “Sitemaps” Section
You can check your submitted XML Sitemaps in this section and identify which pages from them Google has managed to index. You can also tell if Google had trouble accessing the Sitemap by seeing if there is a checkmark in the “Status” field. That being said, why do we even want to do this? If a site is already “crawlable” in Google’s eyes, why do we need to perform this extra step?
Figure 2 — “Submit a Sitemap” Button
Clicking on the above button reveals a field to enter the physical location of the XML Sitemap, which is usually in your website’s root directory, for instance: www.example.com/sitemap.xml.
Keep in mind that the specific numbers reported in the Sitemaps section of Webmaster Tools only apply to the URLs you submitted in your Sitemap(s), not the amount of pages you actually have in the index; there will always be a discrepancy between the “URLs submitted” and “URLs in web index”:
Figure 3 – URLs in Web Index
In fact, it is rare that the number of URLs reported in both sections will be the same. There could be discrepancies because of restrictions on a lot of files in your robots.txt or just duplicate pages that Google has decided not to index.
Just ensure that URLs in your Sitemap are the “canonical” URLs (www or non-www for example). If there are URLs you care about that aren’t in your Sitemap, just add them in and re-submit. Many times, web developers will add multiple pages to a site and forget to update their Sitemaps. This can be problematic if the new pages are not well interlinked on the site. Remember, your site can have the most optimized pages ever created, but all of your hard work will be in vain if Google doesn’t know about them!