If you aren't familiar with Google's Webmaster Tools, then you sir, have been living under a rock.
From assisting with a new site launch, to monitoring of SEO, since 2006 it has been a staple tool for web developers wanting to get the most out of their website.
Webmaster Tools touts a whole host of useful features, and since its most recent update, about 2 months ago, it's clumsy layout and navigation has been fixed and several new features have been added.
Now I must say, I am very happy with the new layout, navigation, and added features...but it seems that there is something amiss.
For those who have used Webmaster Tools as religiously as I have, you are aware of the infrequent data updates of the past. However, ever since this last update, I have noticed an increasing trend regarding the lack of data updates.
Lately, forums and blogs have been flooded with an influx of posts and complaints about how some of the information provided by Webmaster Tools, including backlinks and crawl stats, is not updating for 2-3 months at a time, or simply showing a "No data is available at this time" message. Even the Google Webmaster Tools help forum is flooded with posts of this nature.
I do realize this is provided as a free service (and they probably process more data than I can possibly fathom), and as such, people should not rely on Webmaster Tools as the definitive tool. But, I also think that if Google wants to continue to offer this to their users, they should probably work on getting this information updated on a more frequent basis so it is actually useful.
Providing old, outdated information to those focused on bettering a website's SEO is like handing a classifieds section from 1948 to someone looking for a job in 2009. Not very helpful.
In comparison, I have noticed several backlinks showing up in Yahoo's Site Explorer AND Microsoft's Bing Webmaster Center just one day after the link was posted.
If Yahoo and Microsoft can provide that kind of turnaround for site information. Why can't Google?
What do you think?