Wednesday, December 26, 2018
2018 has been a very important year for our webmaster support community. What has happened? There's been a program rebranding, a global summit, and loads of community hangouts.
In October, the former Top Contributors became Gold Product Experts, and the Rising Stars, Silver Product Experts. This rebranding happened throughout all of the product forums and these are some of the new badges and names:
Silver Product Expert: Newer members who are developing their product knowledge
Gold Product Expert: Trusted members who are knowledgeable and active contributors
In November, we invited all of our Gold Product Experts from every Google help forum (such as Blogger or Business Profile) to a global summit. This meetup happened in the Google campus in Sunnyvale, California. Out of the almost 550 attendees from all over the world, around 70 were Webmaster Gold Product Experts. Coming from 25 different countries, this was the second biggest community that attended the event. Later that month, another very successful meetup took place in Moscow, gathering 23 Russian speaking Product Experts (of which 10 were Webmasters).
Many of the attendees acknowledged that this "was a really valuable time", that the "sessions were very insightful and interesting" and that "the entire event was fantastic!".
This knowledgeable group of super users provides invaluable help in 16 languages to more than 2 million users a year, about everything related to Search, Structured Data or Search Console in the forums.
And what is the profile of our community? Many of our Product Experts (Silver and Gold) are site owners who started out on the Webmaster forums (some more than a decade ago) by asking questions about their own sites. After their issues were fixed, most of them stayed to give back to the community, as they realized that their expertise could be of use to others. We want to thank all of our experts for their dedication and constant knowledge sharing to help users who are having trouble with their websites.
Throughout the year, we've held 75 live office hours hangouts on the Webmaster YouTube channel, in English, Japanese, German, Hindi, French, and we've also kick started the calls in Spanish. On those hangouts, anyone can raise their questions to the Google team directly and interact with one another.
If you're interested in joining the community, meeting everyone and helping other users on the Webmaster forums, you can learn more on the Product Experts program website. We are always excited to meet users from diverse backgrounds and skill-sets!
Looking forward to what 2019 will bring to our community... And looking forward to meeting you!
Written by Aurora Morales, Trust and Safety Outreach team