Opinion Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster Encouraged Me To Upgrade To WordPress 3.2 ‘Gershwin’

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As a follow up to my article yesterday talking about how the SEO benefits of WordPress 3.2 (Gershwin), I wanted to show you something that I found very interesting as a message in my Google Webmaster account for this site.

There was a message, directly from Google Webmaster themselves, where they recognized I was running a WordPress version that was not the latest version, and they wanted to encourage me to upgrade.

Here’s the exact message I got from Google Webmaster:


Messages for 

WordPress Update Available July 7, 2011

Dear site owner or webmaster of ,

Your site appears to be running an older version of WordPress. Google recommends that you update to the latest release. Older or unpatched software may be vulnerable to hacking or malware that can hurt your users. To download the latest release, visit the WordPress download page.

If you have any additional questions about why you are receiving this message, Google has provided more background information in a blog post about this subject.

Best wishes,

Google Search Quality Team


First of all, I never realized that Google would contact a site owner (me) directly about something like upgrading my WordPress platform.

I mean, who’s ever heard of such a thing?

And then I got to thinking about it, and I think I know why.

As I pointed out yesterday, Google is now factoring site speed in determining search results.

The slower your site, the lower your rankings could be for any given keyword phrase.

And of course, the faster your site, the higher your rankings could be.

So why would Google Webmaster contact me directly to encourage me to upgrade my platform?

To me it seems obvious.

Anyone can see that I’m monetizing my site with Google Adsense – including Google themselves.

It’s also apparent to some (some not so much) that my site is built on WordPress.

In my opinion, Google sees an easy opportunity for me to increase the speed of my WordPress site by simply upgrading to the latest version of WordPress, and thus increasing the overall effectiveness of the SEO of my blog.

And by doing so, it would increase traffic and page views which would then increase ad revenue.

Of course, this would increase ad revenue for me as well, but I doubt (in fact I know…) that wasn’t Google’s intent.

Their intent is to get as many sites as possible to achieve the best rankings as possible – especially those that are running Adsense

So am I way off in this assessment?

Or am I precisely correct?

Did anyone else receive this message?

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