About a month ago I alluded to a data center called “Bigdaddy” that people could check out as a preview. We’re ready to collect feedback on the Bigdaddy data center now. Let’s start with some Q&A.
Q: Why are you giving this a name? Isn’t that normally the privilege of Brett Tabke and the moderators at WebmasterWorld (WMW)?
A: Brett and WMW normally name updates. But this is neither an update nor a data refresh; this is new infrastructure. It should be much more subtle/gentle than an update.
Q: Why is it called Bigdaddy?
A: That’s a good story. Bigdaddy got its name right here:
At Pubcon, there was an hour-long Q&A session one morning. After the session was over, a bunch of us skipped the next session of talks to talk more in the lunch room (that’s me in the blue shirt). I knew we had a test data center that would need feedback, so I asked for suggested names. One of the webmasters to my right (JeffM) suggested “Bigdaddy.” Bigdaddy is his nickname because that’s what Jeff’s kids call him. So I said I’d use that the next time we needed a name for feedback.
Q: Why did you wait so long to ask for feedback?
A: There were a couple reasons. First, I knew that Bigdaddy wouldn’t go live before the holidays were over. Second, the team working on this data center wasn’t showing it 100% of the time; at night, they’d take it out of our data center rotation to tinker with it. That would have been a recipe for confusion. Now we’re past the holidays and the Bigdaddy data center is live 100% of the time. In fact, Bigdaddy is now visible at two data centers: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
Q: Do you expect this to become the default source of web results? How long will it take?
A: Yes, I do expect Bigdaddy to become the default source of web results. The length of the transition will depend on lots of different issues. Right now I’m guessing 1-2 months, but if I find out more specifics I’ll let you know.
Q: What’s new and different in Bigdaddy?
A: It has some new infrastructure, not just better algorithms or different data. Most of the changes are under the hood, enough so that an average user might not even notice any difference in this iteration.
Q: I noticed some ranking changes across all data centers. Was that Bigdaddy?
A: Probably not. There was a completely unrelated data refresh that went live at every data center on December 27th. Bigdaddy is only live at 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 right now.
Q: Is there specific types of feedback that you want?
A: We’d like to get general quality feedback. For example, this data center lays the groundwork for better canonicalization, although most of that will follow down the road. But some improvements are already visible with site: searches. The site: operator now returns more intuitive results (this is actually live at all data centers now).
Q: What else can you tell me about Bigdaddy?
A: In my opinion, this data center improves in several of the ways that you’d measure a search engine. But for now, the main feedback we’re looking for is just general quality and canonicalization.
Q: Will this datacenter make me coffee? Is it the solution to all possible issues ever?
A: No. No data center will make 100% of people happy. For every url that moves into the top 10, another url moves out. And the changes on Bigdaddy are relatively subtle (less ranking changes and more infrastructure changes). Most of the changes are under the hood, and this infrastructure prepares the framework for future improvements throughout the year. If you see a webspam or quality issue, let us know so that we can work on it.
Let’s finish off with a couple more Q&A’s.
Q: I see something weird on the Bigdaddy data center. Should I leave a comment on your blog?
A: Please don’t; that’s not the best place to leave it. I would leave the feedback either in a spam report (for webspam) or the “dissatisfied” form for any other feedback. The only Google person reading the comments on this blog will be me, so your feedback will get the best bang-for-the-buck if you put it into one of those two forms.
Q: Are you sure you don’t want me to just drop a quick comment about my problem here? Right now?
A: I’m about blogged out for the day, and there are better places to discuss this stuff (WebmasterWorld, Search Engine Watch Forums, etc.). The best way to get people to process your feedback is to use the spam report form or the dissatisfied link, make sure that you include the keyword “bigdaddy” and try to be as specific and clear as you can.
Okay, now let’s get to the meat of this post: how to give us feedback on Bigdaddy. I’d be delighted to get webspam feedback, but I’m most interested in hearing feedback about canonicalization, redirects, duplicate urls, www vs. non-www, and similar issues. Before you send in a report, please read my previous posts on url canonicalization, the inurl operator, and 302 redirects. Now here’s where to send feedback:
Reporting spam in the bigdaddy data center
I definitely want to hear about webspam that you see in Google. The best place to do that is to go to http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html . In the “Additional details:” section, I would use the keyword “bigdaddy” in your report.
Reporting other quality issues in Google’s index
Do the search that you’re interested in on 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124, then click the “Dissatisfied? Help us improve” link at the bottom right of the page. Again, fill in details and use the keyword bigdaddy so that folks at Google can separate out feedback specifically about this data center.
If I see feedback reports that aren’t helpful, I’ll try to provide suggestions for how to give solid reports that we can use.
Update: 126.96.36.199 is the preferred data center to hit. I edited the post to make 188.8.131.52 the first IP address listed.
Update2: Made the WMW and SEW links more specific/correct.