No, it’s not a trick question. Why DO people even bother to write content for Google? From my personal experience, it has become a waste of time – even though SEO was (I removed it) my “most endorsed skill” on Linkedin…
Let me explain:
Matt Cutts and company seems to be coming up with more and more rules all the time. or should I say, they seem to find new ways of enforcing and/or interpreting old rules all the time. They keep on raising the bar, and adding more and more hoops to jump through.
On the one hand it’s understandable – the web is getting filled up with written content in various forms, videos, slide shows, comments, social interaction, pictures…
It must be quite a demanding task to index all of that in a sensible order.
Despite the fantastic technologies at their disposal, Google is regularly messing up the indexing of written content – which is the most basic form of content on the web.
Firstly, their search engine results are not nearly as perfect as what they want our content and links to be.
Searching from South Africa, I have had many occasions when I was looking for something local, and had to re-phrase my search terms because of the “international clutter” in between. Really – I would have thought that a company like Google would understand that, if I was looking for a plumber, I DO NOT NEED the number of one in new York or London.
In addition to that, they allow far too much credit to websites with dynamically generated pages – like software search engines/directories, shopping sites, and real estate websites. I have searched both topics many times, and was directed to written content by Google, only to find a page saying “sorry, there are no results for this search term”, or – just as bad – being taken to a results page for a totally different search term than the one I entered in Google.
In my layman’s opinion, those “nothing found” pages come down to “doorway pages” – which Google apparently started disliking about a decade ago (no real content; just dynamically generated to capture the visitor). As for sending me to a page with results from a DIFFERENT search term than what I asked for…
@MattCutts – the USER EXPERIENCE SUCKS (and I say that since you are always the one to point to the user experience we as webmasters provide – or fail to).
Secondly, they seem to send visitors to your site for totally irrelevant results – and then they obviously penalize you for the high bounce rate and little time spent on the site.
On Wednesday 25 May 2016 – 30 visitors for search term: www.get-free-social-traffic.com
100% bounce rate. The average time on site for that keyword appears to be zero.
Nowhere on my site is that term mentioned – not even in the source code.
Then – on 20 June 2016 – 29 visitors for the search term: eu cookie law
My blog was about writing (at the time) – not about legal information.
Please keep in mind that, back then this was a new blog, and not much was happening yet in the way of traffic.
As such, those two terms made up almost half of my search engine traffic for the month in question. If you look at the “not provided” keywords stats (nice, Google), the bounce rate is 42% – which means I am providing a reasonably good user experience for search engine visitors.
However, after the two “mishaps” (sent to non-existent and irrelevant written content), my bounce rate now stands at almost 70%, which is indicative of a lesser user experience. I will, of course, for some time to come, have to pay the price for that with poor rankings….:)
In short – Google makes you jump through hoops to please them. And then they mess it all up, and penalize YOU for it.
So – my question stands: Why do people even bother writing content for Google?
Unless you have a specialized local business, in which case it does help. Other than that…
It simply makes no sense. write the content for the visitors toy our website or blog. Because you will probably have to generate most of those visitors yourself anyway.