Google won’t help your blog

My blog has been penalized in Google’s index for a few weeks now. While I would prefer that my content be easier to find, it does not worry me and my readership is not declining. Daniel Tunkelang explains exactly why: while Google brings a lot of traffic to my blog, almost none of it is relevant.

For example, my post on Simpson’s paradox is the most popular page from Google’s search engine. By far. Yet, it is not very exciting nor very representative. It gets a lot of traffic because many people want to compute the “average of averages”.

There is a practical conclusion: forget about most search-engine optimization tricks if you are a blogger. Making some of your pages show up first in Google will generally not increase your readership.

Daniel Lemire, "Google won’t help your blog," in Daniel Lemire's blog, October 1, 2008.

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

2 thoughts on “Google won’t help your blog”

  1. I agree. For the past several months, my post about a dictionary-based Old English translator has gotten a healthy stream of visitors from Google who never visit any of my other posts and never leave comments.

  2. Same thing with some links from big blogs. I have received a few links from big blogs that skyrocketed the traffic for 3-4 days. After the spike was gone, the number of subscribers remained pretty much the same. Long-term readership and short-term visitors are very very different. The most valuable links are those that come from other members of the “community” not from external, general audience blogs.

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