To all my readers: I am sorry!


I must admit, sometimes I can be extremely stupid. But the benefit of being able to be so stupid is having great moments of deeper realization when the “wohaa”-moment hits. And dear Google, do not take this personal, but I do not care about you anymore.
How could I?!I have been preaching customer service for years. Customer focus, customer experience and customer anything. I love customer service. So what do I do with my blog? I tweak and adjust to optimize for a Google search robot?!? WHAT!? I have been watching Google numbers like a hawk, and I have been doing it quite well – but why? So a few more souls can find me in Google? To get a better Google page rank? The palm of my hand is not big enough for this face palm to be honest.  My blog is not about making google happy, my blog is about making YOU happy. I am here to improve your joy while reading my blog.

I know a lot of my readers are other bloggers, listen: This might be the most important post you have read so far this year! Google Robots do not read your content… they crawl it and index it. We try to optimize our headers, our content, descriptions and keywords. We remove or add sections of our blog based on the fear of being penalized by Google. We are afraid to have too many links, and we count this shit day in and day out. The result is a blog less reader friendly. Producing several ways to find content, might lead to “double content” on Google. Sharing your content with other bloggers might cause duplicate content = penalty. Who cares?! Shit – I got a few articles IN my blog and over at Gina Abudi’s blog because she wanted to share my content with her readers. That is just wonderful – but Google does not like it. I was actually considering asking Gina to remove the guest posts – How stupid is that? BTW: Gina, you are always welcome to share my writings.

[quote style=”boxed”]Click to tweet this:  Dear Blogger, this might be the most important blog post you’ll read this year: #google[/quote]

So what is wrong with Google?

First of all, people have been trying to “manipulate” Google results for years. Google create new algorithms to prevent link farms and to prevent the “spammers” from getting an advantage over great content. Google has gotten so caught up in this fight, that they have done the same error as I have been doing, that they forget about the “normal man and woman” trying to share knowledge. I have read amazing good blogs that you can’t find in Google, or you will not find them easily. Google is actually just trying to beat of those that try to manipulate the system, but the tradeoff is that the “honest” blogger must remove tag clouds, be careful with category listings and so on. Today I was asked to remove some links to a previous contributor because of Google changing their algorithms. So because of Google, my readers will now not be able to click on a link to this writer’s web page – as he had asked me to remove the link. This is not customer orientation, this is system orientation, and I am shocked that it took me so long to realize.

From now on, it is all about my readers

I am actually ashamed of being so caught up in Google, but no wonders, as everybody says how important it is to be found in Google, and yes it is, but it is not more important than the readers I already have. But Google is just a robot, visiting my blog to index my pages. Google has no other benefit of this content, like you guys have. Google will not read about micromanagement or motivation here. Some Google employees will, but not the search engine. So from now on it is about my readers. If I want to link to a great blog, I will. If you like to have a tag-cloud I will put it back. If you like to have multiple ways to find my content ON my blog, I will adjust to your wishes. So please tell me, how my blog can become better for YOU – and I will listen, and I will never read a SEO (Search Engine Optimization)-guide ever again. Because, if I write killer content, I know that YOU will share it, and that is what counts for me. At the end of the day, I seek reader love, not robot love.

I promise that I will no longer optimize this site for Google, I will however continue to provide great content for you guys to read. I would therefore rather harvest feedback from you, instead of reading about “the secrets of Google” ever again. So please do share your thoughts with me – and I promise to listen.

I hope you will accept my apology for losing this very important focus.

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3 Comments on "To all my readers: I am sorry!"

  1. Stephan De Villiers | March 22, 2013 at 11:26 am |

    Hi Frode,
    This is is a real eye opener!  I must admit I am prone to this mistake myself.  With all the SEO advice flying around it is easy to forget you actually write for people who want to read engaging content and not to get indexed by Google. In the final analysis, it is the enjoyment and subsequent sharing of your content that really builds your online presence and authority and not Google bots.  Thanks for this post.  It made me reconsider my own writing style to focus on the content and the potential reader and not on if Google will like it or not.

  2. FrodeHeimen | March 14, 2013 at 7:54 pm |

    @sylvainliege Hi – thanks for sharing this link, looks like an interesting book. I will ofc take google into consideration, but if my choice has to be between google or my readers, well then I will know what to do for sure 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Hi!  
    What a refreshing post! As a blogger myself, I feel so stupidly constrained by the Google rules. Ignoring them totally is naive, but complying totally is dangerous!
    It reminds me of Jaron Lanier in “You are not a Gadget” with his concept of “lock-in”. Basically, one day a technology becomes major and nobody thinks about challenging it. It becomes a standard even if it is totally wrong, pointless or obsolete.
    If you wish to read a quick book review of this title, check it on my blog (I promise this is genuine and not because of Google that I put that link here! 🙂 )
    And oh, by the way, I do accept the apologies! 😉

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