Great websites are the result of the hard work of website owners who make their content and services accessible to the world. Even though it’s simpler now to run a website than it was years ago, it can still feel like a complex undertaking. This is why we invest a lot of time and effort in improving Google Search so that website owners can spend more time focusing on building the most useful content for their users, while we take care of helping users find that content.
Most website owners find they don’t have to worry much about what Google is doing—they post their content, and then Googlebot discovers, crawls, indexes and understands that content, to point users to relevant pages on those sites. However, sometimes the technical details still matter, and sometimes a great deal.
For those times when site owners would like a bit of help from someone at Google, or an explanation for why something works a particular way, or why things appear in a particular way, or how to fix what looks like a technical glitch, we have a global team dedicated to making sure there are many places for a website owner to get help from Google and knowledgeable members of the community.
The first place to start for help is Google Webmasters, a place where all of our support resources (many of which are available in 40 languages) are within easy reach:
- Google Web Fundamentals: Provides technical guidance on building a modern website that takes advantage of open web standards.
- Google Search developer documentation: Describes how Google crawls and indexes a website. Includes authoritative guidance on building a site that is optimized for Google Search.
- Search Console Help Center: Provides detailed information on how to use and take advantage of Search Console, the best way for a website owner to understand how Google sees their site.
- The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide: Provides a complete overview of the basics of SEO according to our recommended best practices.
- Google webmaster guidelines: Describes policies and practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise affected by an algorithmic or manual spam action that can negatively affect their Search appearance.
- Google Webmasters YouTube Channel
Our second path to getting help is through our Google Webmaster Central Help Forums. We have forums in 16 languages—in English, Spanish, Hindi, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Russian, Turkish, Polish, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean. The forums are staffed with dedicated Googlers who are there to make sure your questions get answered. Aside from the Googlers who monitor the forums, there is an amazing group of Product Experts who generously offer their time to help other members of the community—many times providing greater detail and analysis for a particular website’s content than we could. The forums allow for both a public discussion and, if the case requires it, for private follow-up replies in the forum.
A third path for support to website owners is our series of Online Webmaster Office Hours — in English, German, Japanese, Turkish, Hindi and French. Anyone who joins these is welcome to ask us questions about website appearance in Google Search, which we will answer to the best of our abilities. All of our team members think that one of the best parts of speaking at conferences and events is the opportunity to answer questions from the audience, and the online office hours format creates that opportunity for many more people who might not be able to travel to a specialized event. You can always check out the Google Webmaster calendar for upcoming webmaster officer hours and live events.
While how a website behaves on the web is openly visible to all who can see it, we know that some website owners prefer not to make it known their website has a problem in a public forum. There’s no shame in asking for support, but if you have an issue for your website that seems sensitive—for which you don’t think you can share all the details publicly—you can call out that you would prefer to share necessary details only with someone experienced and who is willing to help, using the forum’s “Private Reply” feature.
Are there other things you think we should be doing that would help your website get the most out of search? Please let us know — in our forums, our office hours, or via Twitter @googlewmc.
Posted by Juan Felipe Rincón from Google’s Webmaster Outreach & Support team