Writing to be Read by Google: Selling Out?

I was work­ing on sev­er­al of my many drafts today and I real­ized that a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of my time is spent think­ing about my audi­ence… and by audi­ence, I don’t mean the nice peo­ple who end up read­ing my blog, but the search engines that get them here… many of which are owned by Google.  I face the dual chal­lenge, with each post, to cre­ate con­tent that is inter­est­ing to read and which will pro­duce hits after it is snarfed up by the giant snazzy box that is Google.

If you’ve read my posts so far, you’ll notice that they gen­er­al­ly are either con­cern­ing some hot-but­ton issue or they are a review.  The hot-but­ton issues are some­what obvi­ous trolls, but I do believe I have some­thing to con­tribute to each.  The reviews are delib­er­ate­ly not of the triple-A games I play (which have many reviews) but of the small­er inde­pen­dent games I play (which hope­ful­ly means my post is among a small­er list of peers).

The rants require the most effort.  I feel I need to give some his­to­ry (since my pub­li­ca­tion hasn’t cov­ered them before), give some links (good for Google, good for read­ing) and then give my opin­ion part (the meat of the post, if you like).  Links in par­tic­u­lar pro­vide author­i­ty to a post, but they also pro­vide bet­ter pager­ank scores.  I would have linked Google there, but the page Google finds at Google is a cor­po­rate back-slap and doesn’t explain any­thing… so I linked in Wikipedia… which, as always, has a fine page.

But is this cre­ative­ly sell­ing out?  At the begin­ning, I admit­ted that I was going after get­ting Google to pay me mon­ey.  The whole online pub­lish­ing indus­try is pret­ty much brim­ming with cap­i­tal­ism and self-inter­est.  Even if I wasn’t inter­est­ed in mak­ing mon­ey, there is no such think as unbi­ased jour­nal­ism.  In fact, there shouldn’t be. Like it or not opin­ions are like rec­tums: everyone’s gone one. Pre­tend­ing you don’t have an opin­ion is equiv­a­lent to pre­tend­ing you don’t have a rec­tum.  It’s sil­ly, for starters.

So I have a rec­tum.  I also have pager­ank.  Last­ly, even­tu­al­ly, I’ll have read­ers… each of whom will also have rec­tums (I sup­pose that’s not always true, and if you are in the rec­tum chal­lenged crowd, I tru­ly feel sor­ry for your loss…).  But the major­i­ty of those read­ers will only find me if I have a suf­fi­cient­ly  high pager­ank.  That’s cer­tain­ly ratio­nal­iza­tion, but it’s one I can live with.  The con­tent is still all me…

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One Response to Writing to be Read by Google: Selling Out?

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