Last week, I had the great opportunity visit Google’s headquarters, attend the Google Dance as a part of the SMX West conference, and talk with many in the industry. There were quite a few great tips that I picked up along the way.
For example, one of the issues that I’ve been dealing with for quite some time is the way Google displays the date on my posts. This is still an issue, and even as I make this post, I know that once I post it and it’s crawled by Google, it will end up showing that I posted it 7 hours ago. After speaking to Google reps, I was able to learn that they’re still working on this issue, that’s it’s a display issue, and that it shouldn’t be affecting rankings. Nonetheless, I was assured that someone at Google will fix it at some point.
Another interesting tip that I picked up on was how much feedback it actually takes until Google takes that feedback seriously. Or, how many “reports” it takes until Google will respond or take action on a report. It actually takes feedback or a report filed by 5 separate Google Accounts (5 separate users) until they respond or take action.
I’m not going to go into detail about who said what when about this, as it’s not really important. But, what’s important to know that if you’re trying to get a bad review or fake review of a business, an error in a local listing, or some other issue resolved that’s similar, it will take 5 Google account reports. So, if you’re trying to take care of a Google issue, you need 5 different Google accounts to report the issue before they’ll respond.
Another example of this could be an image in Google image search. For example, if there was an image showing up in the Knowledge Graph that’s not related to the business you’re searching for, you’d need 5 different people, logged into 5 different Google accounts, to report that issue. Anything less than that would not cause Google to look into the issue. A better example, actually given at SMX West, was Stone Temple Consulting, as shown below:
As you can see, for some reason Google thinks that Stone Temple Consulting, the SEO consulting firm in Boston, Massachusetts, is related to an image of a Stone Temple. But that’s not correct. If they wanted this photo fixed, at least 5 different people would need to report it to Google as an issue.