Adam Lasnik describes himself as Google’s first ‘search evangelist’, and he works to improve relations between the search engine and webmasters.

Adam’s job is to help webmasters with ranking and indexing issues either through communication or other means. In an interview by Lee Odden from, Adam talks about search engine marketing and has some tips for webmasters. 

Some excerpts coming up…

What are some of the most common issues that you’ve heard from Webmasters in terms of problems with ranking on Google? What are some of the most common solutions?

“The two most common concerns we hear are: ‘Hey, all or most of my pages aren’t in your index!’ and ‘My site’s not ranking as high as I’d like or for the keywords it should show up for’.”

“In the first case, the sites at issue tend to be relatively new, or have so few meaningful backlinks as to be practically invisible. In a few instances, the sites violate or have recently violated our Webmaster Guidelines. The solutions involve patience and/or responsible networking to garner at least a few good links.”

“In the second case, ranking can quite often be improved via either making one’s site more accessible / user-friendly (clearer titles, cleaner navigation) or — in a broader sense — by making the site more interesting or useful or entertaining to make for a better user experience.”

What resources would you recommend for webmasters in terms of understanding search engines as a marketing tool and for learning about specific tactics?

“I think learning tactics, per se, is sort of self-defeating; I know I can’t keep up with all the nuances of our algorithms because various teams are always updating them.”

“Furthermore, if a particular tactic is likely to annoy or raise eyebrows for you or your customers, it’s likely to be exactly the sort of thing that our engineers will add as a negative signal in our algorithms. Hence, in the end — as clichéd as it might sound — it really IS best to think like a user.”

The last time we talked, you mentioned that Google Base will play a more active role with information supplied in search results. You also mentioned that the line between the various Google services is becoming more fluid. Can you elaborate on that?

“This is in line with our Google-wide push towards fewer products, more functionality and power per product. You’ve probably noticed that we took the search box off the Base page; that’s because we figure consumers would prefer doing one search instead of two.”

“On the whole, we want to make it easier for folks to get information into Google and, of course, easier for users to find information with the least amount of effort”

Can you describe some ideal applications of Google Base for web site owners?

“I think Base is great for any individual or company that has a large amount of structured (and, perhaps often-changing) information that they’d like to share.”

“Obvious (and currently present) data sets include real estate listings and recipes. I’d love to see some quirkier-but-still-useful applications, though. Maybe hiking trail information by city region, or broad sets of nutrition information of common foods…?.”

Further Reading:

E-consultancy interviews Lee Odden about SEO, PR and blogging