🕵️ Optimizing for search engines

If you grew up being the middle child, you know what it’s like to go unnoticed. If you’ve spent a ton of time creating great content that never appears in Google, it can feel like you’re the middle child of the publishing world. That changes today, kid. This week’s newsletter is about learning the basics of Search Engine Optimization, utilizing its advantages, and sharpening your writing techniques to work in your (and Google’s) favor. Let’s go!

In this week’s issue :incoming_envelope:

1 Like

I remember a time when SEO meant ensuring that your blog was formatted in a way that Google could crawl easily, writing good stuff, and getting organic backlinks.

I find it very sad that anybody would recommend that you decide what you write based on what Google wants you to write. The whole idea of doing “keyword research” and changing your content to satisfy it is weirdly upsetting to me.

I mean, I get it, it’s a way for people to drive more clicks to their blogs. But… it also means that, instead of writing the things you want to write or the things you know, you’ll be writing things according to some vague ethereal algorithm based on guesses at what google wants.

I have friends working for major publications and… You know when you search for “when does season 6 of such-and-so premiere,” and you get a super long article with eight different sections you have to scroll through before it tells you that they don’t know when season 6 premieres? And it’s just unrelated plot summaries and random descriptions of the show that have nothing to do with your search query?

They used to write about one article a week, and it was good, the kind of thing they wanted to write. Now, they’re expected to do that, plus five of those fake SEO-optimized trash articles, and they hate writing those articles, but the company demands it because it drives SEO.

That sucks. It’s really lame. That’s not what the internet should be.


That was SEO around 10 years ago. Now Google search results are (sadly) mostly made out of reddit, quora or huge websites with high domain authority. So it might be a good idea thinking about alternative sources of traffic.

1 Like

well, I do use reddit, so that’s not the biggest problem for me…

but my friends in journalism are suffering from the keyword-driven nonsense.

I can’t quite believe that in the year of our Lord 2024, people are still talking about keyword research. For organic search traffic, forget it. It’s all about where the article starts: think of questions people ask or problems they want sorted. Those are the sorts of pieces that tend to deliver well for search.

Keyword optimisations? 2014 called. It wants its search strategy back.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.