Sunday, August 21

Google's Finally Killing SEO, Again

I barely bother reading articles about SEO anymore. I never got great at manipulating the system, and I've always been frustrated by the amount of real work I've put into my writing compared to SEO wizards. On top of that, I've heard for years that Google's Search was finally demoting the poorly-written, seo-heavy content that often outperforms my own articles. But one day before I read yet again that Google was defeating SEO optimization, I was sucked into reading an article that had clearly been computer-generated. Looking back on my week, I'd say more like one article a day had been either reworded or generated by some kind of SEO program. Supposedly, Google is going to fix this. Again.

I remember talking to a wealth SEO lady a few years back who sold businesses on mostly useless articles and click funnels. She was rich because Google allowed her to manipulate the searches, and she had happy clients who benefited from her SEO wizardry, while I sat there wondering why no one was even reading some of my best articles. And the ones people did read never made me any affiliate money. Of course, I've always written on what interests me rather than on what I believed could get me click funnel victims, so there's that. Still, her wealth and how she made it bothered me, with Google seemingly endorsing her techniques. Right before that business meeting, I'd read SEO was getting a crackdown on Google Search. But I'd read the same thing several years earlier, when I first tried to build my own business. Since then, I think I see more useless, computer-generated or third-party content. More click-bait as real news in my feed. More SEO millionaires.

Sometimes the best article on a subject is on some old Angelfire website written by someone who's been dead a decade. However, anyone can take that top article and rewrite it with SEO wording and photos in order to steal the top spot without any authority, personal experience, or intent to help others. Maybe the new Google Search update will finally figure out why most of us ought to be disappointed with our search results and news feeds, but I won't believe it this time any more than the other times I've heard the same rhetoric.

If a lawn care business out of Houston or an HVAC company out of Massachusetts have the best articles about why my grass is dying or whether I should buy a heat pump, I'm fine with those results, but I'd probably prefer a good local article. I know local doesn't always exist, and most HVAC companies want you to hire them rather than give free advice, but when the top articles are useless or stolen (and some good ones are buried a few pages deep), it shows that Google still has an SEO problem. One that I can only hope gets resolved.

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