Marketing 2 min read

Why Google's Search Relations Team Don't Respond to DMs

Morning Brew /

Morning Brew /

Google’s Search Relations team is quite active on Twitter, answering questions that site owners or SEOs ask publicly. But what happens when you send a direct message to these Googlers?

That’s the topic of the September 21 episode of Google’s Search off the Record podcast.

Google’s John Mueller, Gary Illyes, and Martin Splitt discussed how they handle SEO questions in the DMs. First, the team agreed that they’re not allowed to answer such questions due to an “honest results” policy.

It’s an approach that Google uses to maintain an equal playing field for everyone on the web.

The company’s search relations team abides by the policy by not giving preferential treatment to anyone. Accordingly, it means site owners and SEOs can’t receive assistance via private channels.

The thinking is simple. If a Google Search advocate responds to a direct message, they could inadvertently provide information not available to the public.

This could, in turn, lead to an unequal playing field.

Illyes explained that there’s no exemption to the rule:

“So, basically, it doesn’t matter if you are a small publisher or a big publisher, or you spend 1 dollar or you spend nothing with Google, or you spend millions of dollars with Google Ads… it doesn’t matter.”

So, how can you get help from Google?

Asking Google’s Search Relations Team for Help via Public Channels

As said earlier, Google’s search relations respond to SEOs and site owners publicly on Twitter.

For example, the Google SearchLiason and Google Webmasters accounts share insights on how Google Search works. You could also reach out to MuellerIllyes, and Splitt publicly with your SEO issues.

Other channels include:

  • John Mueller’s Webmaster Hangouts
  • Martin Splitt’s Webmaster Hangouts
  • Google Webmaster Help Forums

Along with the media above, Google’s search relations team can also answer any public platform questions. Mueller has even responded to questions on Reddit several times.

With that said, it’s not a total waste to send direct messages to these Googlers.

Mueller admitted that he checks his dm to identify and escalate systemic issues. Furthermore, Illyes noted that DMs and emails have helped Google catch some Search issues in the past.

However, site owners and SEOs must go through public channels to get answers.

Read More: Google to Start Crawling Sites Over HTTP/2 by November 2020

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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